Holy Week is a time when the Christian community shares Christ’s pain, His betrayal and abandonment; His descent into the abyss of death, and His rising to life again that we might have hope and abundant life.
The Scriptures do not explain away pain and death; rather, they give us the Son of God who is willing to descend into the trenches and suffer and die with us, taking the punches along with us. This week the Passion of Christ takes on an even more sombre dimension, as He carries His cross through Krematorsk, Slovyansk, Mariupol, Kyiv… in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen, and in the victims of genocide and abuse of human rights by China of the Uyghur people, to mention just some of the Calvarys of 2022.
The culmination of these days ahead is not the cross; it is the Resurrection. Beyond the pain there is hope. Hope in Christ; hope in the Spirit that can change hearts and inspire works of peace, justice and love.
HOLY MONDAY This is the day we remember how Jesus drove the money changers and sellers from the Temple. The temple area was always crowded during Passover with thousands of out-of-town visitors. The religious leaders crowded it further by allowing money changers and merchants to set up booths in the court of the Gentiles.
The temple tax had to be paid in local currency but the money changers would charge exorbitant exchange rates.
As they had travelled vast distances many people had to buy their animals for sacrifices in the temple area where prices were higher than elsewhere.
Jesus was angry at the dishonest, greedy practices of the money changers and merchants who exploited those who had come to God’s house to worship.
PRAY: Jesus, you drove the unjust traders from the temple. As you call us to new kinds of community, may we build fairness into our economic lives,
honesty into all our relationships,
and respect into all our dealing with others – each made holy in your image. We pray for all those who work for fairer trading structures,
and for the change that can be made in our own spending in support of this.
Lord, as we move through this week,
we seek to determine where Your astonishing story, which is at once so familiar and yet so incredible, fits in with our own stories.
We believe wholeheartedly
that Your Passion and death
have significance beyond our comprehension.
Allow us to be touched and awestruck
by the holy events of this Holy Week
and to claim them once again for our own lives.