Holy. Weak.

stockvault-donegal-parish135052Is there anything more repugnant than someone cologned in “Holier Than Thou?”

Is there anything more annoying and infuriating than a hypocrite?

Don’t we hate being on the bruising end of stones thrown by someone else?

I know for some, Holy Week stirs all those emotions and more. A bunch of do-gooders parading around in their pious ceremonies, looking down their noses at everyone else. The same people who were gossiping last week are supposedly “holy” this week? The greedy guy from sales is all of a sudden a saint? Who do they think they’re fooling? I’m with Billy Joel, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” Especially since the “saints” I know are a bunch of frauds.

It’s easy to lose focus. All the talk today about people and issues clouds the view and irritates the senses like a fresh dusting of pollen. So much so that when we hear Holy Week, we instantly think of all the unholy people we know.

God saw them too. That’s what’s holy about Holy Week.

We’re weak. We lie, cheat and steal. We cut corners, hoard things, and hurt people. We justify war in the name of religion. We build second homes while others starve.  One of the reasons we get so mad at the hypocrites is we know the depravity of our own hearts and thought lives, and we know it’s true of Captain Perfect, too. We know the true condition of the human heart and we know it’s far from holy.

God knows it too. That’s what’s holy about Holy Week.

Because he knew, he became weak. After dreaming up the Milky Way, painting the toucans, designing the opposable thumb, and flavoring chocolate, God saw what he had made and called it good. Then he saw the pinnacle of his creation collapse at the first sign of pressure and in profound weakness, profane what was holy. We ran away, shook our fist, beat our chest, and prostituted ourselves in our weakness, but he never wavered. He loved so deeply, so creatively, and so powerfully that he took on flesh and became weak. He became like one of us.

He entered the world unglamorous.
He took on the nature of a servant.
He was ridiculed, beaten, and pierced.
He was obedient to the point of death.

The weak who thought themselves strong crucified the strong who they thought was weak.

And he let them do it.

God invented trees and then allowed himself to be nailed to one. That’s what’s holy about Holy Week.

It’s not about the corrupt people who lead churches or the zealots who spew hatred in the name of God. It’s not about any issue. Holy Week is about the truly holy becoming weak so the truly weak could become holy.

God didn’t have to come and rescue us. He knew his people were dripping with hypocrisy, reeking of self-righteousness, and oozing condemnation. He heard the lying, saw the violence, and smelled our stench. But in spite of our wretched weakness, he came, died, and rose again so we could become holy.

As you ponder Holy Week, please don’t be distracted by the wretchedness of people; focus on the truth that he died in spite of it. Don’t get lost in the existential questions and philosophical debates; get lost in the idea that God came near.

Contemplate the reality that the weak can be holy because the holy became weak. That’s what’s holy about Holy Week.

One comment

  1. Very nice. Be careful (or not).Yousound a lot like the new Pope.

    Jerry Moore Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream – Highlands


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