This is the week in which we remember that Jesus surrendered Himself and emptied Himself. It is a week that invites us to do the same.
In 1952 a German philosopher named Josef Pieper released a book entitled, “Leisure: The Basis of Culture.” It is a book that, when I first read it, stopped me in my tracks. I have returned to it often and, if I were to study this book for a lifetime, it would always bring me fresh insight and challenge me deeply.
Pieper wrote his masterpiece shortly after World War II. He wrote to a world that was frenetically busy trying to reconstruct a war-ravaged Europe. Pieper tried to help them to see that their rush to accomplish, achieve, produce, and build was hollow – unless they first learned in the depths of their spirits how to rest and worship – to receive wisdom and open one’s heart to wonder.
The first page of his book cites Psalm 46:11 – “Be still and know that I am God.”
We are beings with incarnated souls. When we become distracted and disconnected from timeless truths and the ineffable things beyond us, all of our busy activities and overtime pursuits leave us less than human and even will annihilate us.
This is the week that stills us and brings us, like human commas, to our knees. We pause from all else this week to look deep within. As we do the ancient Word is revealed to us.
I have heard there were times and places where businesses would close and all other activities would cease so that people could observe the Triduum. Now it seems the Paschal Mystery must somehow “fit in” around all of our other busy pursuits.
The Triduum Sacrum – the Holy Triduum. It begins on Holy Thursday and will lift us into Easter. This is the most sacred time of the year. It is the hour “for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). We need to know that glory.