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Holy Week Reflection

Jesus of Nazareth was a realist. He carried no illusion that life was simply a long series of “that went just as I wanted!” moments. Especially if one chooses to love during many of those life’s moments. You are probably familiar with that saying, “better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all.” We know that saying because it’s true. As heart-breaking as it is to walk with a loved one who is dying or a resident in our Benedictine community who is suffering or a co-worker who is going through a really difficult time, we know these moments bring us more deeply into life and love.

Christians call this week “Holy” for a reason. We hear again the stories in which Jesus is met with derision, persecution and suffering, in part because he chose to love the outcast and the sinner. He upset the status quo. We meet him at the cross of his crucifixion along with his mother and the beloved disciple John. We know his journey is also our journey, that life can land gut punches. But we also know that it isn’t the end of the journey. To love is to sometimes suffer, but it is also to rise to a life with meaning and beauty.

This week—including Easter Sunday—proclaims “do not fear to love”! It may bring some heart-ache, yet it ultimately brings a richness that not even death can steal.


Jim Smith, Benedictine director, mission integration