On Sunday, we celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, accompanied by crowds who cheered and waved palm branches in celebration. By Good Friday, many of this same crowd would have been present, and were, perhaps, even among those who mocked Him, as He made His tortured way to Golgotha and His death on the Cross. What an incredible turnaround – and certainly not a change for the better! How such a change of heart, of commitment, could occur is perhaps a real puzzle to us. And yet…
Virtually every one of us reading this reflection has encountered a similar, even though opposite (and probably not quite so dramatic), change in our lives after a week at Nazareth Farm. We leave with a determination to “bring the Farm home with us” – as we promise ourselves to live more simply, to help create a greater sense of community in our homes, neighborhoods and schools, to grow in our ability and commitment to do service, and to make God and prayer a more integral part of our daily lives.
But life goes on – and the world we re-enter has not seen or experienced what we have seen or experienced during our time at the Farm – the end result is that many of our resolutions either become weakened or totally fade away over time. Holy Week brings with it (at least for a good number of us) the opportunity to spend extra time in reflection and prayer. Can we take some of that time to reinvigorate the cornerstones in our lives?
Simplicity – Is it time to clean out a few closets? To buy one extra thing at the grocery store (even if it’s the result of a “buy one get one free” sale) to donate to a food pantry? To make one dish a week “from scratch” instead of prepackaged?
Prayer – Can I try to get to Church even just a few minutes early on Sunday for some extra prayer time, or stop for a quick visit at a Church I pass on my way to work or school, or even turn off my phone for ten minutes before I go to bed so I can “chat” with Jesus?
Service – If I have elderly or homebound neighbors, can I bring them some of that “from scratch” dish, or run an errand, or provide a listening ear (even though I’ve heard the same story many times)?
Community – Can I invite a few people (or even one) to join me in any of the above activities, especially those who might be shy about doing the activity “on their own”?
Easter, coming as it does in the Spring, the season of renewal in nature, is an ideal time to renew in ourselves the spirit of the Farm and its cornerstones. Let us spend at least some of our time this Holy Week finding ways to incorporate them ever more fully into our lives!
Sr. Paula Gallant, longtime friend and supporter