Monday, April 15, 2019

Holy Week

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For Christians around the world, this week—April 14-21, 2019—is referred to as Holy Week. It is, along with the Christmas season and birth of Jesus, the most important time of the church calendar year.
    The 40-day season of Lent, not counting the Sundays—with its traditional emphasis on prayer, fasting, almsgiving and repentance—comes to a close on Friday, known as Good Friday, of Holy Week.
    Holy Week begins with Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on what is referred to as Palm/Passion Sunday. The crowds gathered for the Passover festival awaited with anticipation for another act of freedom from their Roman oppressors—which many believed would be led by the Messiah, a powerful military and political leader. Many may have believed Jesus to be such a Messiah. However, his entrance into Jerusalem by riding on a donkey was a clear sign that he was not that kind of Messiah. Rather, the donkey was one of the humblest of animals, and also a symbol of peace. Jesus’ messianic mission and ministry was one that epitomised humility, non-violence and peace. So the crowds welcome Jesus with the waving of palm branches and by spreading their cloaks on the road ahead of Jesus. This entrance into Jerusalem was regarded by the gospel writers as the fulfillment of Isaiah 62:11; Zechariah 9:9; and Psalm 118:26-27.
    According to Luke’s chronology of Holy Week, which is the liturgical year (Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary) that we are now in, the following events unfolded as follows—unfortunately this post would be too lengthy to go into detail of all these events, so I suggest that you read these chapters of Luke’s Gospel, and allow them to inspire your time in meditation and prayer, and, if the Spirit moves you, journaling:
  • Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem: Luke 19:28-40
  • Jesus weeps over Jerusalem: Luke 19:41-44
  • Jesus cleanses the Temple: Luke 19:45-47
  • Jesus’ authority is questioned: Luke 20:1-8
  • Jesus tells the parable of wicked tenants: Luke 20:9-19
  • Jesus is questioned about paying taxes: Luke 20:20-26
  • Jesus is questioned about resurrection: Luke 20:27-40
  • Jesus is questioned about David’s son: Luke 20:41-44
  • Jesus denounces the scribes: Luke 20:45-47
  • A poor widow’s offering: Luke 21:1-4
  • Jesus foretold the Temple’s destruction: Luke 21:5-6
  • Jesus speaks of signs and persecutions: Luke 21:7-18
  • Jesus foretold Jerusalem’s destruction: Luke 21:20-24
  • The future Son of Man’s coming: Luke 21:25-28
  • The fig tree parable: Luke 21:29-33
  • Jesus exhorts his followers to watch: Luke 21:34-38
  • The plot to kill Jesus: Luke 22:1-6
  • Preparation for the Passover: Luke 22:7-13
  • Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper: Luke 22:14-23
  • The disciples dispute about greatness: Luke 22:24-30
  • Jesus predicts Peter’s denial: Luke 22:31-34
  • Sayings about purse, bag, sword: Luke 22:35-38
  • Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives: Luke 22:39-46
  • Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Luke 22:47-53
  • Peter’s denial of Jesus: Luke 22:54-62
  • Jesus is mocked and beaten: Luke 22:63-65
  • Jesus before the council: Luke 22:66-71
  • Jesus before Pilate: 23:1-5
  • Jesus before Herod: 23:6-12
  • Jesus sentenced by Pilate to death: Luke 23:13-25
  • The crucifixion of Jesus: Luke 23:26-43
  • The death of Jesus: Luke 23:44-49
  • The burial of Jesus: Luke 23:50-56
  • The resurrection of Jesus: Luke 24:1-12
  • The resurrection appearances: Luke 24:13-49

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