This is certainly not the Lenten season we hoped or planned for, but it is the Lenten season we have been given. Perhaps it is teaching us a new meaning of fasting. Not only do we fast from certain foods, but we are “fasting” from gathering, from celebrating the Eucharist. Even as we keep some distance to help contain the spread of the virus, we also are quite connected with one another. We are in this together – bound together by a spiritual bond. No doubt, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Even if we cannot gather to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week, we can still enter into the dynamic, the spirituality of this week. The dynamic of Palm Sunday is, in fact, ENTRY. Today Jesus enters into Jerusalem. Were we to gather in Church, we would be entering the church in a different way. We would gather in some other space to bless palms and then process into the church. It is our way of entering into the week, entering in to the journey of Jesus, entering into his death and resurrection. By entering the church in a little different way, we remind ourselves that we are entering into a sacred time.
This year, we are invited to enter the Lent and Holy Week we have been given. Perhaps we have a little more down time that we usually have. We can make phone calls or send emails to those whom we love to remain connected. We are perhaps given more time at home or with family. We can make the most of it. Take this imposed Sabbath rest, and enter into it. Talk to one another, pray with one another, turn off the TV, read more, even take a nap. Many families find it hard to sit down to a meal together; now we might be able to do that. These can be holy events. Perhaps there are some hidden gifts in this time, this Lent and Holy Week we have been given. I invite you to enter into this unique sacred time; it can be a holy week.