For this is how God loved the world: He gave His only Son… (JOHN 3:16)
My nephew recently posted on our family Facebook page: Geri and I will get married on April 16, 2016 (Saturday), so please save this date for us!
I’m sure that for many people, April 16, 2016 will be just like any other day. A day to go out with family and friends. A day to watch a movie. A day to go biking. A day to rest and relax.
Nothing really special.
But that particular day will no longer be an ordinary day for me. I already signified my commitment to attend the wedding. Which means that April 16, 2016 is already reserved, set apart, for that special purpose.
That day, therefore, will no longer be about me. It will not be about my plans, my comfort or my happiness. It will be all about my nephew and his beloved.
That day is now officially holy, so to speak. For the word “holy” in its most basic sense simply means “set apart from the ordinary.” It also means “set apart for a purpose.”
That’s why this week is called Holy Week.
The Holy Week is a week unlike any other week of the year. It’s supposed to be different, extra-ordinary.
The Holy Week is not about what we want to do. It’s all about what Jesus has already done.
The Holy Week is meant to be spent on some much-needed R&R time. No, not rest and relaxation, but remembrance and reflection. It is an occasion for us to remember in a special way the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and to reflect on its meaning for us today.
I like how the term Holy Week is translated in Filipino – Mahal Na Araw. It is not in any way a direct translation of the English term, but it nevertheless highlights the meaning of the events that we remember and reflect on during this holiest of weeks.
Mahal can mean two things. As a noun and a verb, mahal means love. As an adjective, mahal means costly.
It is love that compelled our God to send His only Son, Jesus, to redeem the world. It is because of love that Jesus willingly went through His passion and death to fulfill His Father’s will.
God’s love for us cost Him His Son. Jesus’ love for us cost Him His life.
Because true love never counts the cost.
Let us then reserve, set apart, this week to remember and reflect on this reality. There will be other weeks to go out and watch a movie and bike and rest and relax. You know, to do the ordinary stuff.
For now, let us all have a holy week.