April 9 Palm Sunday
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
These words are incredibly powerful coming from the mouth of Jesus as he lay dying on the cross. He’s the Son of God! How can he feel forsaken?
To feel forsaken, or forgotten by God, is a common feeling. To want the presence of God in our lives, but to not feel it, is frustrating and demoralizing. Jesus asks why he’s been forsaken, knowing full well that in three days he will rise from the dead. This is what we must keep in mind when we feel forgotten or empty: that, someday, Jesus will come back and we will be united with him in heaven. For “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Take some time today to think about when you have felt forsaken, or forgotten, and how God made his presence felt in your life.
April 10 Holy Monday
“Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, ‘Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?’ He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.” (John 12:4-6)
This is Judas, responding to Mary using expensive oil to anoint the feet of Jesus. Judas is greedy and uses the poor to enrich himself. So what do we do differently from Judas? Why do we do the things we do? What are our motivations? The first reading says “I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice.” Today, think about how you have been called for the victory of justice, and what your motivations are.
April 11 Holy Tuesday
“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” (John 13:36)
Jesus tells this to Peter because, in death, Jesus will open the gates of heaven and He will be our redemption. Peter cannot follow him yet but eventually will be invited into the Kingdom of Heaven. This is also an invitation to us. How do we follow the teachings of Jesus here on Earth so that we may follow him into heaven later? How do our acts reflect His acts, and how does that affect our faith in Him? Today, take some time to think about how we strive to accept the invitation of Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven, and what we are prepared to do for the one who laid down his life for us.
April 12 Holy Wednesday
“One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ ” (Matthew 26:14–15)
As we approach the cross this Holy Week, we remember and acknowledge that we have all been Judas at one point or another in our lives. When we gossip or speak ill of our friends behind their backs, we betray that friendship. Let us pray today for the grace to turn down the promise of “thirty pieces of silver” and instead love our friends as Jesus loves us.
April 13 Holy Thursday
“If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
In our celebration of Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we begin the Sacred Triduum. These three holy days tell the story of the great love God has for us through the Son Jesus Christ. On this night, we remember our call to be servants of one another. In this world that often encourages us to indulge our selfish desires, how will we commit ourselves to service as Jesus so profoundly demonstrates to us?
April 14 Good Friday
“If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him.” (Isaiah 53:10)
The Passion of Christ is a familiar story. We hear it twice every year, first on Palm Sunday and again on Good Friday. Isaiah’s Suffering Servant gives us context to help us understand the importance of Christ’s sacrifice. In giving his life as an offering for our sin, Jesus accomplished God’s will, saving us from death. Let us reflect today on the profundity of this great gift.
April 15 Holy Saturday
Today is a day of quiet reflection before the incredible celebration of Easter begins at the Easter Vigil. Let us take time today to find a quiet space to reflect on the events of the past week, both the events we heard in scripture and the events that occurred in our lives. How does the knowledge that our great Easter celebration begins tonight shape the way we interpret these events?
April 16 Easter Sunday
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)
Today on this holiest of days we rejoice in the news that the Lord is risen! Jesus has conquered death and invites us all by virtue of our baptism to share in the resurrection. This news gives us the courage to hope. We know that death is not the end. We know that love will have the victory. This is truly Good News! Alleluia!