Holy week is not a historical lesson or play—it is s celebration of the Lord’s Passover and it is based on the great truth that when we get together in his name we form the body of Christ.   You can see how wonderful that is when we say speaking in the name of the community;  this is my body; this is my blood; I baptise you; I absolve you —–and all this is brought about by the gift of the spirit.  Whenever you are tired or feel you have done all this before, ask the spirit to give you a fresh outpouring and you will see again l the wonder of it all.

The Jewish housewife had to clean out her kitchen for the great feasts—all the old food discarded, pots and pans and ware cleaned and shining for the celebration—in a remarkable way, every parish church in the world does something similar—the Holy Water blessed last year is discarded into his earth; the oils blessed by the bishop last year are burnt and he will bless new oils on Wednesday. The whole church is stripped on Holy Thursday and fresh cloths, flowers and all the rest put in place for Easter.– a remarkable parallel to what the Jewish housewife does in preparation for Passover.  If you have Holy Water in your house, you should discard it during the week—pour it in the garden. Not down the sink,  and you can replenish your bottle after the Easter Vigil—then bring it home and sprinkle very room in your house with the newly blessed Easter water—symbol of the risen Christ, one of our many beautiful Catholic customs.

Walking past on the first Good Friday you would see a roman execution in all its cruelty and horror—but—you would not know it is a sacrifice.  Why do we know it is a sacrifice, i.e. freely offered by Our Lord on our behalf ?  It is because of Holy Thursday.   It was on Holy Thursday that he took the bread and said take and eat this is my body given for you—sacrificial words; When he took the wine he said: this is my blood of the new covenant which will be poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.  It is the last supper that turns the death on Calvary in to a sacrifice, freely offered on our behalf, and then, just as wonderfully, the resurrection turns it into a sacrament— it is the risen body of Christ that we receive in Holy Communion.  We are the body of Christ, formed by the spirit, and very time we come to Mass we celebrate his life, death and resurrection—sacrifice and sacrament.  The Lord did not tell his disciples to write a book; he told them to do this in memory of him The new testament, the new covenant in his body and blood is the Eucharist, the Mass which we celebrate every Sunday and if ever you feel habit and routine taking over, which is perfectly normal,  saying I have done all this before, call on the Holy Spirit in  all humility, aware of your need and weakness, and ask him to renew your vision and realisation of the wonders of God’s love every time you come to worship him in the supper of the lamb, the Mass.

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