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Wednesday, April 3, 1996

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Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69
Matthew 26:14-25

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"holy, holy, holy" week

"Speak to the weary a word that will rouse them." —Isaiah 50:4

This week is called "Holy Week" because, during this week, the Lord gives us the grace to become more holy, to become like Him in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15). Of course, every week is holy week because the Lord constantly calls us to become holy as He is holy (1 Pt 1:15-16). However, this week is the opportunity to realize that the Lord is constantly trying to "rouse" us to holiness. In Holy Week, we can receive the grace to hunger and thirst for holiness (Mt 5:6). If Holy Week turns out as God has planned it, then on Easter we will want to be a holy one, a saint, more than we want to be anything else in life. Then we will look at the circumstances of life not to maximize pleasure and minimize pain but to maximize holiness.

In the coming days and years, we can expect to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12). We may be beaten, buffeted, and spit at (see Is 50:6). Only if we are holy will we respond to this abuse with love, forgiveness, and courage. Like Jesus, we may be betrayed even by those closest to us (see Mt 26:21). Only the holy respond to betrayal without betraying the Lord through sin. Only if we are holy will we be loving spouses, wise parents, true friends, victorious workers, or faithful Christians. Only the holy are pure, joyful, and free. Without holiness, we cannot see God (Heb 12:14), we cannot go to heaven. After this Holy Week, may we want holiness enough to live and die for it.

Prayer:  Lord, make me holy—no matter what it takes.

Promise:  "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back." —Is 50:4-5

Praise:  "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might!"

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Be Holy, For I Am Holy.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995