Holy Week brings us the highest holy days of the year as we commemorate the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, for our salvation. Through this Paschal Mystery we are forgiven our sins, reconciled to God, and redeemed so that we might share eternal joy with him in heaven.
As we approach that celebration this year, it’s worth remembering and entering into those themes more deeply in what remains a time of deep turmoil and division for our world and for our communities.
As we look out at a world torn by war, still divided over the pandemic, still split into warring political and ideological factions, anxious with economic uncertainty, and looking for someone to blame, the temptation to hatred and to demonizing one’s perceived enemies can be very powerful.
But this is not the Christian way. Our way is in imitation of Jesus Christ. “Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life,” St. Paul writes to the Romans.
As we have been forgiven, so the Lord commands us to forgive others. As God has so generously sought reconciliation with us who were his enemies, so must we hope to be reconciled to our enemies. And as God has redeemed us in Christ, we must remain open to his redeeming every other person in this world, even those we may perceive to be doing evil.
Indeed, our Lord bids us to love our enemies and pray even for those who persecute us.
We are inspired by these holy, hope-filled days. May that inspiration move our hearts to be ministers of reconciliation in a world that so needs it.