As we all know, this Holy Week is unlike any other that we have ever encountered, yet it isn’t the first time that it has ever happened. We need to look back at Holy Week…the first one.
The Apostles were the closest followers of Christ. They turned to him for guidance, support, nurturing, and for learning. They knew Jesus better than everyone except Mary. They trusted him. They cared for him. They needed him. With all of these positive feelings about him, it’s surprising how they reacted after Holy Thursday. They were scared and lost.
How are we feeling today? We’re scared. We’re lost. We’re separated from the ones that we care so much about. We don’t know what to do. We seek out ways to stay in touch. We need each other.
We are feeling the same way that the Apostles felt soon after the arrest of Jesus. They went into isolation. They couldn’t directly communicate with those around them.
Social distancing has made this Holy Week just like the first Holy Week. We are separated from Jesus in the Eucharist, but we are not separated from his love.
Holy Week has always been a great joy for me to teach. I want students to fully understand the deep actions Jesus took each day. I love hearing their questions. I love hearing their surprise. This year, that is missing for me. I was very much like the Apostles. I was anxious, scared, and uncertain of how to carry my joy of this week to my students. I did something I never expected to do in my teaching career…I recorded my lessons and sent them to students. It was a strange feeling. Standing in my basement and teaching to a class that wasn’t present. I’m separated from those that draw me closer to my faith…I’m separated from 28 students that I need…but I know that when this is over, I’m going to be so much closer to them.
I took my students on a 3 day walk through Holy Week. Recorded lessons and created questions and reflections. Just wanted to make sure that they took this week and drew closer to Jesus. Little did I know that it would actually receive a lot of praise. My principal wanted me to post it on the school Facebook page. This was never my intent. My intent was to make this week all about my students. My students that I miss! I just wanted to comfort them and make them realize that through separation we are just feeling the same way the Apostles felt, but we have the knowledge of the great and glorious return.
It is so hard to think of the time that we will be back together. We don’t know when that will be. We don’t know how we will react. We don’t know what it will consist of, but we know it will happen. We need to trust in God and each other to ensure that when we get through this Holy Week and isolation that we will feel great joy, comfort, and peace. We are fortunate enough to know that we will be back together. We also know that Jesus is always with us.
God bless you all as we go through Holy Week. I’m praying for you all and preparing for the time that we will all be back together again!