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A Play in 3 Acts

by Mar 27, 2024Friar Reflection

Holy Week is a story told in three acts.

Act 1: Love Portrayed.  All Lent we have seen Love Portrayed:  Jesus transfigured on the mountain top. The glory of God revealed and yet what would seem to be the final scene of the play is but the beginning. We’ve more to hear, more to see. Especially in the daily gospels we have acts of love. A man born blind who now sees. Lessons on unlimited forgiveness. Teachings on the great commandments of loving God and neighbor. And so many more scenes of love portrayed.  The disciples believe because they have seen and heard the power of God in the world.

Love is portrayed by the people of the city of God, Jerusalem, who welcome Jesus with palm branches waved and laid upon the road as one who greets the arriving king. Cries of “Hosanna…. hosanna in the highest”  The cry reserved for the Messiah.  Their love is portrayed in the hopes they pray the Nazarene can fulfill.  All believe – in the enthusiasm of the moment it is easy to believe.

From the arena of love portrayed in the public acclaim, we change scenes to the private, intimate Passover meal with the Apostles. A last meal; a last supper: the fullness of God’s love offered portrayed for us in the Eucharist.  There at the table we are all believers. The curtain draws; the end of act 1.

Act 2 – Love Betrayed.  The curtain rises on Act 2.  30 pieces of silver accepted by an apostle.  The feast interrupted: “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”  “Surely it is not I, Lord?” The looks, the disbelief, the seeds of doubt sown. “Surely it is not I, Lord?”  Some protest that their faith will never be shaken.  Such are the brave words, the faithful words, in the light of the meal. It is in the darkness of that long night when “well said” falls short of “well done.” In the dark, belief may falter.

Love portrayed gives way to the night when Love is betrayed. Jesus will be handed over. Who would have believed that this triumphal procession into Jerusalem could so quickly fall afoul? The evening’s feast of Eucharist love revealed in service to one another, now there lingers the pall of doubt.  So ends Act 2 and starts the intermission before the play continues on to Act 3

What will you discover about your faith this Holy Week as we turn the page to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Vigil and Easter Morning? Join us for the Triduum.

Image credit: Ascension Press