WITH the celebration of Palm Sunday which opens the Holy Week, we will be having a liturgy that is understandably quite long and heavy. We will go through some dark moments that will eventually end in a very glorious way.

And that’s because the Holy Week is the climax of the liturgical year since it represents the sharp transition from our state of sin, expressed in all our suffering we live through the Holy Week, to our state of glory and victory with the resurrection of Christ.

The darkest and the brightest moments of our life are acted out in the Holy Week. The ugliest of our malice and the fairest of the love of God which is offered to us to live out is dramatized and sacramentally presented to us in Holy Week.

Let’s be quick to savor this true character and value of Holy Week therefore, from the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem on Passion Sunday that starts the Holy Week, to Holy Thursday when Christ instituted the Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist, to Good Friday and then Easter Sunday.

To be sure, if we manage to put our mind and heart into the spirit of the Holy Week, we would have our faith strengthened, our devotion and piety fired up, our understanding of the meaning and purpose of our life with all its ups and downs, made most clear. We would end up most motivated to work on our sanctification, and its inseparable accompaniment of doing apostolate and sanctifying all the things of this world.

Yes, we have to be eager to go through the Holy Week, not because it is fun time with the family and friends in the beach and other resorts, but because it is the holiest of weeks.

It is THE week, the mother of all weeks, the most important week in the liturgical year, when we end the long penitential preparation of Lent and celebrate nothing less than the climax of Christ’s redemptive work with his passion, death and resurrection.

When we say “celebrate,” we are referring to a liturgical celebration where the events celebrated are not simply remembered, but are actually made present. This is the essence of the liturgy.

In the liturgy we become contemporaries of Christ and direct witnesses of the events. That’s how the reality portrayed by our faith is. It is a reality that, of course, goes far beyond what our senses can capture and what our intelligence can grasp. That is why we have to work out our faith. Otherwise, we would be hanging in the air.

It’s important that we don’t lose our spiritual bearing as we go through the Holy Week. We have to make some special effort to achieve this ideal, since the environment today is so paganized that many people prefer to be in the beaches rather than in churches during Holy Week.

If we go by our faith, it’s the week when we practice the most rigorous of our spirit of penance and sacrifice to match with the very passion and death of Christ on the Cross. That’s simply because we are meant to unite our whole life with the offering-sacrifice of Christ’s life to his Father. That way, we would also enjoy the consequence of Christ’s redemptive work—the victory of his resurrection which he shares with us.