Holy Week this year is going to be a very different experience for us. Bishop Hughes talks about how we can still find holiness in it. (Time: 4:59.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. I want to talk with you today about Holy Week, and Holy Week in this time that we live in. It is going to be a very different experience of Holy Week this year. One where we enter in individually, where we enter in in families, where we enter in with a loved one or maybe by ourselves and we enter in to Holy Week in our own homes.
It's not quite the way we're used to doing it, but there is that part of me that can't help but wonder if God has something in store for us that is unique and special for this particular Holy Week. I think sometimes we come at Holy Week with all sorts of plans and the more we plan the bigger our expectations are, and then we wonder at the end of it all did we hear something specifically from God, do we know that thing that we really needed to know that particular week.
And because this week is going to be so much simpler we almost don't know what to expect - and I want to encourage you to expect something this Holy Week. Two things in particular. One, to really expect a week that is holy, a week that is dedicated to God. That's what holy means, dedicated to God. That when you start the day, when you have your lunch, when you gather together at dinner and at the end of the day that all throughout the day during Holy Week, that you say, "I give this day to God." That's something that's harder to do when we're running around, when we're trying to make the next appointment, when we're trying to get someone shuttled off to their next appointment. But in this time that we're in, we actually have the time to say to ourselves, "I dedicate this time to God." And for those of us - and there are those among us who are out working and working hard, who are on the front lines keeping us safe, delivering food, taking care of us when we are ill - clearly as they do the work for all of the rest of us their day is devoted to God. To holy work, to keeping God's people safe and keeping God's people healthy.
The other piece that I encourage you to take a look for is that special way in which God is trying to catch your attention. I've been talking a lot about messengers. I've been talking a lot about hearing the Holy Spirit. I've been talking a lot about those behold moments, those moments where God is trying to call our full name and get our attention. We're moving at a slightly slower speed right now, and sometimes it takes a slower speed to actually hear what God has to say.
So I invite you to listen. Pay attention to the readings this week. Take the time on your own - many of your churches and certainly the diocese is sending out materials for Holy Week to help you have a way of practicing this week on your own, in your home, in addition to the many services that you will find online. And as you do those things, as you make the day and the afternoon and the evening and the night holy, and as you listen to God in the day, in the afternoon, the evening, in the night. As you do all those things you prepare yourself for Easter. An Easter that comes for us every day since that very first Easter. An Easter where we know that we are beloved by God. And that the one that we look to for help, the one who has made us and created us. The one who keeps us safe, is watching our going out and watching our coming in, in this time, in this holy week, in this Easter and forevermore.
I pray for God's blessings on you and on your family and on a very holy week.