The triduum of Holy Thursday today, Good Friday and Easter signify important virtues that were portrayed by Jesus in the most impressive way by his Passion,death and resurrection.
The washing of the feet of his apostles on Holy Thursday was an act of extreme humility that Jesus wants us to emulate in our own lives. “If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's feet”(John13:14).
Pope Francis washed the feet of prisoners and vagabonds to highlight the humility that Jesus wanted to show us. How willing are we to wash the feet of others, especially those under our care and less fortunate than us?
On Good Friday tomorrow we commemorate the Passion of Christ that led to his most brutal crucifixion. In His agonizing Passion and death on the cross he demonstrated his forgiveness towards even those who insulted and persecuted him in the cruelest form. Instead of retaliating with anger and vengeance he reacted with love and forgiveness. As he hung on the cross dying he could still say, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing”(Luke 23:34).This is something no ordinary man can and will do.
The Holy Week culminates in the resurrection of Jesus that symbolizes his victory over death and sin, His resurrection gives us hope that if we continue to do his will and suffer as a result we too will one day come out victorious over the evils in our hearts.
Jesus accepted the persecution and humiliation of his Passion willingly without anger and hatred for those who inflicted pain and insult on him.
How do we react towards those who hurt us, insult us and even plot our downfall? How do we react towards those who betray us, punish us unjustly and rob us of our possessions, peace and happiness? Do we harbor hatred and anger against those who have hurt us? Are we willing to forgive those who have hurt us? Are we willing to go out of the way to seek forgiveness from those we have hurt?
Today one of the main sickness in our society is apathy that was illustrated by Pontius Pilate in dealing with the trial and sentencing of Jesus. We may be too busy with our work and struggling to make ends meet. We may be too busy to earn to support our family as the cost of living has escalated to levels beyond our reach. In this process we tend to forget those less fortunate than us. We become devoid of feelings for others who may be in pain and agony. They may not need money but just our time, our smile and some comforting words which we find hard to give.
Then there are those who are treated unjustly in our midst, our colleagues and subordinates. They are overworked, underpaid and rights denied and even abused. We may be in a position to do or at least say something in their support but we are too afraid and remain silent.
The triduum is not about feeling sorry for Jesus for his agonizing death on the cross. It is a time to reflect on our attitude towards others with regards to humility and forgiveness. It is about compassion towards others who are less fortunate than us, to feel for them and do the little we can to support them in whatever way we can. Finally it is about giving some hope to those who feel hopeless.
Have a Holy and Blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter