Holy Week 2020: Daily discussions for your family
Monday, April 6
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Upon entering the Temple area, Jesus found many merchants selling goods and profiting instead of praying and worshiping to God the Father. Jesus was filled with zeal and rebuked all of those whom were disrespecting the Father’s house.
Jesus took a whip and overturned the tables of the merchants and ordered them to depart from the Temple area. The chief priests were surprised at Jesus’ actions and began to plot a plan to have Jesus put to death.
My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.
Did you know?
The Church uses three special oils to impart blessings and sacraments upon the faithful. These oils are prepared by the bishop and distributed to priests during a special Mass called a Chrism Mass. The Chrism Mass is typically celebrated during Holy Week. The three oils are:
Oil of the Sick: used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Oil of Catechumens: used to prepare people for the Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Chrism Oil: used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. Chrism is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. It is also used in the consecration of a bishop, a new church and the blessing of sacred vessels used in Mass.
Judas Iscariot Agrees to Betray Jesus
Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve Apostles. Judas chose to go to the chief priests and offer to hand over Christ to them. In turn, Judas asked to be compensated for his betrayal. The chief priests agreed to pay Judas 30 pieces of silver.
“And from that time on he [Judas Iscariot] looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
Did you know
How much is 30 pieces of silver worth in today’s currency?
The answer may surprise you.
You may think, well, if Judas was going to betray the Lord, he surely must have demanded a million dollars!
The truth is that the 30 pieces of silver is equivalent to $200 — a long way from one million!
What costs $200 in your life? Here are some examples:
- A new bike
- Participating in a soccer league for one season
- Food for your family for one week
Can you imagine betraying Jesus, to the point of death, or for any of these things? We do not know his motives, but we can presume that evil was surrounding Judas Iscariot.
Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and the other evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Jesus Rests in Bethany
The Bible does not say what exactly happened on Wednesday of Holy Week. However, many scholars believe that Jesus returned to Bethany so that he might rest from his travel in Jerusalem.
Bethany is the location of where Jesus had awoken Lazarus after he had died. The people of Bethany had much faith and trust in the Lord. Jesus felt welcomed while he was here.
I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Did you know
Have you noticed that Easter falls on a different day every year?
How is it determined?
Easter is what is known as a “moveable feast day.” This means that it happens on a different date each year. Unlike Christmas, which is always Dec. 25, Easter came about during the Jewish celebration of Passover (which is a moveable feast date in the Jewish tradition).
In an effort to develop a set standard of determining when Easter would occur, the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325, established the following formula:
Easter will fall on the first Sunday, following the first full moon, following the first day of spring.
In other words, after the first day of spring, we must wait for the first full moon. Once a full moon has occurred, Easter will occur on the following Sunday. Easter will always occur at some point between March 22 and April 25.
Jesus Celebrates Passover with the Last Supper and Institutes the Holy Eucharist
Jesus instructed his disciples to go into Jerusalem and prepare the Passover feast. While at table, Jesus broke bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”
Jesus then took the cup of wine, saying:
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”
With these words, Jesus gave us the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and by doing so, celebrated the first Mass.
Then Jesus warned the apostles that one of them would betray him. The apostles all replied, “Surely it is not I.” Jesus tells Peter that his faith will be shaken and that he will deny knowing Jesus. After dinner, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, at the Mount of Olives, to pray.
This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.
Did you know
During the Passover celebration, four cups of wine are given to the guests. With the presentation of each cup, the host leads a prayer:
Cup of Sanctification: Given to guests shortly after they arrive. This cup is offered to remember the enslavement of the Israelites.
Cup of Righteousness: Given to guests during appetizers. This cup is offered to remember how God delivered them from slavery.
Cup of Blessing: Given to guests during the main course. This cup is offered in thanksgiving to God. This is the cup that Jesus used to institute the Precious Blood.
Cup of Consummation: Given to guests at the end of the meal. This cup is offered as a mark that it is finished.
Following the third cup, Jesus says:
“Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mk 14:21).
And then Jesus left! He did not give the apostles the fourth cup. The Passover was not finished! Yet we know that Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). Jesus is the fourth cup. It is his sacrifice that marks the completion of God’s promise of salvation.
Did you know that you can visit many of the places that Jesus was at during the Triduum? Browse this photo gallery to see for yourself.
Friday, April 10, 2020: Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)
Jesus is Arrested, Tried, Crucified and Buried
Jesus is betrayed by Judas at the Garden of Gethsemane and is handed over to the Roman soldiers. Jesus is brought before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and is found not guilty. Yet Pilate, giving in to the demands of the crowd, allowed Jesus to be crucified anyway. The Roman soldiers mocked Our Lord. They spit on him, they whipped him, and they even made him wear a crown of thorns.
Jesus was forced to carry a cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Many people were cruel to Jesus as he walked. Jesus arrived at a small hill, called Golgotha. It is here that he was crucified.
Jesus spent three hours upon the cross. During this time, many people continued to mock him. Jesus, the source of love and mercy, proclaimed, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
At 3 p.m., the hour of mercy, Jesus spoke his last words “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Shortly thereafter, Jesus was buried in a nearby tomb. The tomb was placed under the watch of the Roman soldiers for the next three days.
Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
Did you know
Did you know that God exists outside of time?
He created us to live within a certain time frame, but he himself has existed, and will exist, for eternity. God has given us free will. But, because God is outside of time, he is able to see what we will do even before we do it. He knows the past, present and future and can see how all of it will fit.
Holy Mass is a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice. We do not crucify Jesus at each Mass. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice is constant, as it has been for nearly 2,000 years.
The Mass is offered by a priest, not by you or I. The priest takes the place of Christ — in persona Christi. We offer our full participation at Mass as a type of echo to the priest’s prayers and Christ’s constant sacrifice.
Pray the Stations of the Cross. Print a copy of the Stations of the Cross.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
Jesus Lies in the Tomb
Holy Saturday is a silent day. The Roman soldiers are positioned outside Christ’s tomb. The apostles and Our Blessed Mother are in mourning while in hiding out of fear of the Roman soldiers.
When Jesus cleansed the temple just a few days ago, he said: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.
On Holy Saturday, the world waits.
So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.
Did you know
On Holy Saturday, Jesus opened the gates of heaven.
Jesus traveled into the darkness in search of those who had died previously. Jesus searched for Adam and Eve; he knows that they are sorry for their sin. Jesus also searched for the great prophets such as Moses and Elijah.
Take a video tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the site where Jesus’ passion took place.
Sunday, April 12, 2020: Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday)
Jesus Is Risen!
Mary Magdalene, along with Mary, the mother of James, woke early to go to Christ’s tomb. Upon arriving, there was a great earthquake. An angel appeared and pushed back the stone which had sealed Christ’s tomb.
The Angel of the Lord proclaimed: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
The two Mary’s raced to tell Peter and the other apostles the good news. Peter and John immediately ran to Christ’s tomb. Upon entering the tomb, Peter found the burial cloths of Jesus. The tomb was empty; Jesus had risen from the dead.
Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Did you know
Thought by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, the Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet which bears a striking, ghostly image of a man. The shroud has been kept in Turin, Italy, since the 16th century. It is not generally viewable by the public and is only available for viewing during special expositions.