Here’s what you need to know about the Holy Week
Holy Week is one of the most important times of the year for Catholics, it’s an eight-day period which started on Palm Sunday, filled with religious symbolism, ceremonial activities, obligation and renewal leading up to the end of Lent and Easter Sunday.
The Holy Week is explained in Matthew 21-27, Mark 11-15, Luke 19-23 and John 12-19. Holy Week started with the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday on the back of a colt as Zechariah prophesied in (Zechariah 9:9).
It is also referred to as Passion Week because during this period Jesus Christ truly revealed His passion for us in the suffering which He willingly went through on our behalf.
As Christians, we are called during this Holy Week to be passionate in our worship of Jesus and in our proclamation of the Gospel. As Jesus suffered for us, we should be willing to suffer for the cause of following Him and proclaiming the message of His death and resurrection.
After the Passion Sunday comes Holy Monday. It’s the last Monday prior to Easter Sunday. Traditionally, Holy Monday is the day on which Jesus cleansed the temple, He was praised by local children, and cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21:12-22). Scripture tells us in (Mathew 21:12-13), “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ He said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”
The third day of Holy Week is Holy Tuesday. According to some common interpretation in the Bible, Holy Tuesday is when Jesus was given various challenges by the Pharisees and Sadducees over some issues such as marriage in heaven, paying taxes to Caesar and the source of His authority.
By the same common interpretation, this is the day Jesus commented on the widow’s donation (Mark 12 and Luke 21). Tuesday is also the day Jesus spoke to His eight woes against the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-26).
The Wednesday of the Holy Week is Called ‘Spy Wednesday’, the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is taken to be sneaky, and his actions portrayed the image of a spy. All the synoptic gospels include an account of the betrayal Matthew 26:12-14, Mark 14:10-12 and Luke 22:3-6. But this is how the Gospel of Luke recounts these events in (Luke 22:3-6), “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and begin to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present”.
The fourth day of the Holy Week kicks off the Triduum starting from Holy Thursday, Holy Friday to Holy Saturday. And then, finally, Easter is here again. A day when Jesus conquered death and bring in everlasting life to you and me.
Holy Week is a very sacred time of the year when we commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus’ life on this earth. The greatest focus of the week is the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led to it. During the days of the Holy Week, we suffer with Christ so that we might rise with Him at His glorious Resurrection (Easter Sunday).
Holy Week is indeed a time to clear our schedules of unnecessary activities. Our minds and hearts should always be fixed on Jesus and what He did for us.