This is the favorable moment This is the day of salvation

March 15, 2024

While the world loses its way in war, corruption and injustice; while it sinks into error, indifferent and is insensitive even to the most precious and sacred things in life, we Christians want to follow Christ, who resolutely takes the road to Jerusalem: this is the favorable moment, this is the day of Salvation! I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself". It's not only for ourselves that we want to live this Holy Week, this Passover, this passage from death to Life, it's for all those we carry in our hearts, those who are far from Christ, far from his Church, those who have abandoned him, those who are indifferent, those who are prisoners of evil...

In response to this darkness, we welcome Jesus this Palm Sunday with acclamation and thanksgiving. Like the children of the Hebrews, let us pay homage to him: "Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"; like Mary of Bethany, let us pay homage to him and offer him the perfume of a great price, what we cherish most, let us give it to him on this Holy Monday, let us express to him our all-too-great love, despite our limitations and egoisms. We too want to be at his side as he prepares to suffer in order to redeem us.

The Church then turns our attention to Peter and Judas: Peter who denies his Lord, Judas who betrays him for 30 pieces of silver. Let's not judge them too quickly. Let's take advantage of the liturgy on Holy Tuesday and Wednesday to ask ourselves whether we have been faithful and loving disciples, ready to lose our reputation, to be slandered and condemned with Christ. If Judas' betrayal was fatal for him, we need to use it to keep coming back to the Lord, tender and merciful. Do we know how to recognize our faults? To ask for forgiveness, to forgive, to accept the forgiveness we are given? This Week, the high point of the Year and of the Christian life, is the perfect time to experience reconciliation with God, with others, with ourselves: have I forgiven everything, as Christ has and with Him?

Thus reconciled, we can enter the Easter Triduum, the holy days that lead us from the Lord's Supper to His Resurrection. Let's take part in the liturgy. The Lord is waiting to fill us with his grace. Let us receive the Eucharist with grateful hearts, give thanks for the institution of the priesthood, and pray for priests. Let us allow Christ to wash our feet, to make himself smaller than we are, and let us in turn make ourselves very small before this God who lowers himself and shows us how we too can go to our brothers and sisters to live out the new commandment he entrusts to us: "Love one another as I have loved you". On this night of the Agony, everything in our churches expresses the gravity and desolation of these days: the crosses, the images of the saints are veiled, the altars stripped bare, nothing solemn to catch our eyes, even the bells are silent. On the way to the Cross and at the Office of the Passion, we are invited, like Simon of Cyrene, to carry the Cross and adore it. Let us not leave this to others: let us place everything in the wounded Heart of Christ, our burdens, our despair, our sufferings... for it is through the sufferings of His Cross that He wishes to soothe ours.

On this Holy Saturday, let us listen to the great silence that stretches across our land, the absence of Christ. Let us remain at the Sepulcher with Mary, who hoped against hope. Did he not promise: I am the Resurrection and the Life... Let us hasten his resurrection by our faith and hope in Him who can do all things. This is the day of salvation.

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