The Passion in Real Time: A Triduum Reflection in a Global Pandemic

By Sr. Clare Walsh, MHSH

Holy Week is more palpable this year than most of us imagined possible. We are experiencing the passion played out in real time.

We are confined, masked, distanced as health care workers offer themselves so others may live, while essential workers help to carry the cross thus making the way less burdensome. Neighbors being neighborly, looking out for the most vulnerable. A Holy Week where we “keep watch”.

This is an anxious time, “a night different from all other nights”. Questions arise from deep inside our being. Throughout scripture, Jesus posed questions to engage us, perhaps none with more urgency than those questions asked during his passion and death.

His questions probe, drawing from life as it emerges, and looking for a response hidden within us. The questions of Jesus are where prayer has always been valid. The initiative is always His. The graced response is ours. In his questions, Jesus holds us within his gaze.

We cannot use Holy Week to escape COVID19…this global pandemic calls us to solidarity as we share suffering with our sisters and brothers around the world.

Jesus’s deepest desire is to be in relationship with us.

Would you want to spend some time these days allowing Jesus to lovingly ask you the questions he voiced in the darkest of times?

Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?

 

  Do you know what I have done for you?

 

 And, what shall I say?
Father, save me from this hour?

 

 Whom are you looking for?

 

 Shall I not drink the Cup given to me by my Father?

 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

 

God Bless us all these holy and frightening days. We wait in faith-filled Hope.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Day 3

2015_WPCU_Poster_inner_240x349Day 3, “I have no husband” (John 4:17)

SCRIPTURE:

  • 2 Kings 17:24-34, Samaria conquered by Assyria
  • Psalms 139:1-12, O Lord, you have searched me and you know me
  • Romans 7:1-4, You have died to the law through the body of Christ
  • John 4:16-19, I have no husband

 

MEDITATION:

The Samaritan woman answers Jesus: “I have no husband but Jesus knows the woman has had five husbands, and the man she has now is not her husband.

What is this woman’s situation? Did her husbands ask for divorce? Was she a widow? Did she have children? These questions arise naturally when dealing with this narrative. Jesus acknowledges the woman’s life but remains open to her, to encounter her. Jesus does not insist on a moral interpretation of her answer but seems to want to lead her beyond. As a result the woman’s attitude towards Jesus changes. At this point, the obstacles of cultural and religious differences fade into the background in order to give space to something much more important: an encounter in trust. Jesus’ behavior in this moment allows us to open new windows and raise further questions, questions about the differences which stand in the way of the unity we seek and for which we pray.

PRAYER:

O you who are beyond all things, how could we call you by any other name? What song could be sung for you? No word can express you. What Spirit can perceive you? No intelligence can comprehend you. You alone are inexpressible. All that is said has come from you. You alone are unknowable. All that is thought has come from you. All creatures proclaim you, those who speak and those who are dumb. Every one desires you. Everyone sighs and aspires after you. All that exists prays to you and every being that can contemplate your universe raises to you a silent hymn. Have pity on us, you who are beyond all things. How could we call you by any other name? Amen.  (Attributed to Gregory of Nazianzus.)