As we begin the holiest week of the year, we take time to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter. We spend time reflecting, or thinking, about what we have learned by sacrificing for others, how it feels, and who we are helping. We think about going without and how some people go without food, not by choice, but by necessity—because there is little or nothing to eat.

It’s Holy Week—the most important week of our faith. Jesus enters Jerusalem and the people receive him triumphantly. But in a matter of days, the crowd that acclaims him as a king demands that he be crucified.

When Jesus was apprehended, his disciples fled. After the trial, he was flogged, spat upon and stripped of his clothing. While hanging on the cross, Jesus was thirsty—he was given vinegar to drink.

This story is a reminder to us of attitudes we may still hold today. We are members of the same human family, but we can turn a blind eye to the suffering of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers. But Jesus reminds us that what we do to the little ones, we do to him.

Throughout history, many have understood what it means to be merciful toward people who are suffering. On Jesus’ journey to Calvary, a bold woman moved by love wiped his face. A bystander, forced to help carry the cross, was forever transformed by the experience. At the foot of the cross, the beloved disciple promised to care for Jesus’ mother as his own. After the crucifixion, a wealthy man offered his own new tomb to bury Jesus.

These are unquestionable examples of the works of mercy—of hearts showing compassion to those in need. And that is what Jesus expects of us—that we offer our hands and hearts to others so that with him, we may enter into eternal life.

As we prepare for Easter, we reflect on how our sacrifices and actions might transform another’s life. We pray for the grace to realize that by sharing the cross of others, we become servants of salvation. During this most important week, we strive to make the works of mercy a daily habit—at home and around the world.

REFLECT

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Find all the resources you need this Holy Week in the Reflections tab.

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