It’s the busiest week of the year for me: Holy Week. Busier than Christmas, it’s a week of flurry and activity leading up to the Resurrection of Jesus! Man, I wonder if it was as much chaos for Him as it is for me. It’s funny that I would even think that I could compare my week to His! For me, this is a Holy Week of distractions. Distractions, that if I let them, could disrupt my joy in anticipating the coming of the Lord.
There are lists to check off and so many choices and decisions to make. Add a funeral and boy, what day is it again? Palm Sunday colors were red and then Monday we went back to purple. Thursday is white and Friday, red again before all the colors are displayed in the finale on Sunday. Lilies and candles and the different readings, oh my! So many Holy Week distractions. Our church is full of history and tradition and we try to make everything meaningful for the congregation because, let’s face it, it is why Jesus came, so He could die and rise again!
Today is Spy Wednesday. I’d never heard that saying before but how fitting. I subscribe to a newsletter called “The Pillar”. It’s from a couple of Catholic gentlemen who produce a podcast by the same name, talking about current events and all things Catholic. The newsletter said today is Spy Wednesday because Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and they correlate how we all betray Jesus, justifying our sins. Here’s a little snippet from the newsletter:
“There is a danger, for many of us, of turning repentance into the self-diagnosis preferred by our therapeutic culture, in which contrition is replaced by an endless carousel of subjective, uncertain, projecting self-assessments.”
“We are conditioned to prefer analysis to repentance. We are often convinced that with enough diagnosis, we can master our own wills, overcome our own vices, conquer our fallen natures.”
I don’t know about you, but this is me. I’m always assessing why I do the things I don’t want to do and trying to overcome on my own all those areas of my life where I fall short. Trying, trying, trying. Anyone else do this?
There’s nothing wrong with trying to overcome our sins, mind you, as long as you give them up to God, asking His forgiveness and starting over. That’s where confession comes in. Just lay that thing down. Don’t try to pick it up again, but confess it and wipe the slate clean and start over.
Confession is a beautiful sacrament of grace for Catholics and too many of us don’t use it enough. I know it’s hard. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in Holy Week distractions, but muster up the courage to admit that you betrayed Jesus and just confess it.
There’s nothing better than entering into Easter with a clean slate. My Catholic friends, find a Catholic Church near you and just go to Confession. Find out when times are. Put it in your planner. You can also call ahead and schedule one.
For my non-Catholic friends, I think it’s even easier. You just get on your knees and confess it to God right where you are, any time of the day or night! That’s the beauty of His forgiveness. It’s for everybody!
There’s a movie coming out today, called “Fr. Stu”, with Mark Wahlberg. I don’t have a review, but the story of the real life priest, Fr. Stuart Long is a great read here.
May God bless us all this week as we approach Easter Sunday. Pray for the people coming into the church at the Easter Vigils all over the world and those people who will be moved this weekend to make a decision to love and follow Jesus more. That’s what it’s all about, friends. More of Jesus, less distractions.