During these final Lenten days, our hearts and prayer remain in Lenten repose, but our hands have begun to give themselves to the liturgies of Holy Week. We are thumbing through pages of music, polishing brass and silver, plaiting strips of palm, burying last year’s oils…our hands guiding us slowly and surely toward the Vigil of Easter. It’s as if through our tasks we are gathering kindling for the Easter fire. And in a way, we are.
Scripture tells us that on his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus sent his disciples ahead to make preparations – to retrieve a colt, to prepare an upper room, to make ready for his paschal journey… And today, we still make ready. Our labor, when attended to with love and devotion, draws us into the life of Christ, becoming kindling for the fire of his light and love.
At the Easter Vigil, when the priest lights the paschal candle from the new fire, he will sing: “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” In accompanying Jesus on his paschal journey, we are united with the Christ-light that banishes darkness and illumines the world.