Standing on the cusp of Holy Week I wonder, am I ready to celebrate Holy Week? Like the athlete waiting to take the field for the big game I question, has my training been strenuous enough? Was my work focused enough?
I fear I am not prepared. I resist even writing those words because I know someone is watching. Let’s keep it positive. But the truth is I’m not prepared. Oh, I’ve followed my Lenten practice. I’ve done and shared in most everything Catholics do during Lent. I’ve fulfilled the letter of the law.
Yet, I resist taking that one final step. I keep myself from being transformed by the practice of this Lenten season. What would it take for me to live as the creation God is always calling me to? In just seven days I will celebrate with stories, light, water, oil, bread and wine the new creation. I’m really afraid to accept the promise of new life. I feel safe wallowing in the ashes at least the ashes are familiar.
But Lent is not over yet. The rituals of Holy Week celebrated in community have a power of their own. Not taking the shortcut I can hope to make my way through the ashes to live the dream God has for the world.
“The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.” (Jeremiah 31: see 10d)