5 Simple Ideas to bring Christ into the everyday moments of your life throughout Holy Week.
St. Paul says we make up for what’s lacking in Christ’s sufferings (see Col 1:24). This isn’t because Christ’s Passion is in any way incomplete, but because Jesus offers us an opportunity to share in His Cross. What’s “lacking” is our participation – not Christ’s deficiency, but ours.
Here are 5 simple ways we can participate in Christ’s passion, by offering everyday moments of our life in union with His suffering.
1. Chew Your Food 33 Times.
I find comfort in the fact that Jesus didn’t start His public ministry until He was 30 years old. We don’t have to have life all figured out in college or in our early twenties. We can do great things at any time of our lives. God calls us to different tasks at different seasons of our lives.
It took Jesus 30 long years to launch His life’s work.
And then He was only at it for 3 short years before He was put to death.
But every single one of those years was important. Every single year, Jesus was devoted to doing the Father’s Will, in the life He was living right now.
In honor of Our Lord’s 33 beautiful, holy years on earth, given as a gift for us, try chewing each bite of food 33 times. It will help you slow down and cherish the moment that you’re living in. (It’s also good for your digestion.)
2. Walk the Long Road
Jesus walked that long road to Calvary.
He embraced the Cross, embraced the journey. It wasn’t a fun trip, but He didn’t complain. He was silent as a lamb. Opened not His mouth.
Think about His Walk whenever you need to go somewhere this week. You can seek out, or at least joyfully accept, the parking space furthest from the grocery store. You can give up complaining about the long walk. You can walk it in union with Jesus’ Way of the Cross.
If the weather is nice enough, you can take a prayer walk in the afternoons. A Divine Mercy Chaplet, or the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary would be the perfect addition to this sacrifice.
3. Swap Sweet for Bitter
In His thirst they gave Him vinegar to drink (see Psalm 69:21).
We have an unreasonable obsession with sweet drinks. Sodas and lemonades and iced teas. Hot teas and coffees. All day everyday, we add sugar to our drinks.
We can give that up in honor of Our Lord’s very unpleasant last drink. We can swap sweet for bitter.
Give up those sodas and sugary drinks. Try drinking your coffee or tea black. Or just go for plain water.
If you want to embrace the bitterness a little extra, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to your water.
4. Stretch Yourself
Jesus stretched Himself out on the Cross and gave Himself up as the perfect sacrifice in atonement for our sins.
We sometimes cling to our comfort zone. We don’t like to stretch. We don’t like to get uncomfortable.
But stretching is good for us – physically, and spiritually. It’s good to push to our limits. We can’t grow if we don’t give it all we’ve got. Jesus gave all the He had, all that He is, for our sake.
In honor of His arms stretched out on the Cross, take a few moments every day of this week to stretch. Add a few quick stretches to your morning or evening routine. You might even want to add a pose resembling the cross, in honor of the Crucifixion. Stretch your arms straight out to the sides, and pray 5 Glory Bes – one for each of the wounds in Jesus’ body.
And while you stretch, thank Him for stretching Himself out and laying His life down for your redemption.
5. Watch One Hour
When Jesus needed His apostles’ companionship, they fell asleep on Him. “Couldn’t you watch just one hour with me?” (see Matt 26:40)
An hour isn’t a lot to ask from a friend. Just one hour out of 24 in a day. Or even, just one hour out of 168 in a week.
Can we do this for Jesus, our Friend, our Savior, our God?
Give Him one hour this week. If you spend just ten minutes in prayer and reflection before going to bed each night from Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday, you’ll spend a total of one hour watching with Jesus this week.
Or, if you can, spend an extra hour in prayer each day. Reflect on God’s love for you, and how you can love Him in return.
Tweak Your Holy Week
Holy Week is the biggest week week of the Liturgical Year. Pick one or two or all of these sacrifices to help you set this week apart and dedicate it to Jesus in a special way.
You can make up for what is lacking in Christ’s suffering.
He’s done everything for your salvation.
All He needs is you.
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Imagine yourself encountering Holy Week for the first time.
Place yourself into history. You’ll walk by His side every step of the way. You’ll experience the fear, the pain, the suffering, and finally, the joy of this pivotal week in Salvation History.
With this prayer journal, you’ll experience Holy Week in a whole new way.
Each day from the Saturday before Palm Sunday through the Resurrection has Bible readings, reflections, prayers, and journal prompts to help you immerse yourself in the reality of Jesus’ Passion, death and Resurrection.
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