Starting the Journey

Today, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, marks the beginning of Holy Week, as we journey with Jesus through Jerusalem, to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and ultimately to the joy-filled Easter Sunday. While there are so many layers and key moments found within today’s Gospel, I am continually brought back to one theme: love. The Gospel may evoke some of us to question the presence of love amidst the suffering, pain, and agony that Jesus endured, and for me, it is in that endurance through faith and love, that I see God’s love in abundance, leading to the glorious resurrection.

Every year for the past five years, our school would travel with a delegation of our high school students from San Jose, California to Doddridge County, West Virginia. Early that Monday morning right after Easter Sunday, we would hop on a plane, pick up our two rental vans and make our way to the Farm. And as soon as I pulled up closer to the red barn, I already knew that I was home. For that next week, we would be surrounded by love all around – in and out of inspiring conversations with strangers turned friends, and opportunities to engage in activities to learn more about community, service, prayer, and simplicity, while experiencing it with joy and laughter all at the same time! 

While Jesus’ Way of the Cross was an incredibly painful, lonely, journey, we rejoice with his resurrection and with the Easter season. For me, coming to Naz Farm for a week after Easter Sunday was indeed the best way that I could imagine to celebrate light, renewal, and authentic joy. God was always present! Love is palpable at Naz Farm when working on home repairs, when playing games, when enjoying dinner together outside, and I believe that my Easter celebrations have been that much better because of the opportunities we’ve had to be in community with our friends at Nazareth Farm.

May you and your friends and family be blessed this Holy Week, and together, we await the coming of Easter!

– Crystal Catalan, volunteer