Table, cross and tomb. This is where the disciples of Jesus gather during the Triduum, a Latin word that literally means “three days.” On Holy Thursday we are at the Table of the Last Supper in the Upper Room. On Good Friday we are at the Cross on Golgotha. On Holy Saturday we are at the Tomb in the garden.
As our family experiences the Table, the Cross and the Tomb at our local parish, I am overwhelmed by the reality that in 72 hours, our daughter Bayley and I along with Bishop Zubik and 35 fellow pilgrims, will be in the Holy Land. We will be in the very places where Jesus and his first disciples were at the table, cross and tomb.
We will go to Upper Room, where reclining at table, Jesus shared His Body and Blood. We will climb up to Golgotha where Bishop Zubik will lead us in Mass at the very place where Jesus died on the cross. We will go in to the tomb of the Holy Sepulcher.
Today during the Veneration of the Cross liturgy, we heard about the last movements of Jesus, how he got up from the table and walked across the Kidron Valley to Gethsemane where he was arrested and then was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. We listened as the narrator read from John’s Gospel how Jesus died on the cross and was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. It was powerful today to prayerfully recall Jesus’ final footsteps. How amazing it will be to literally follow Jesus’ path from the table, to the cross and the tomb just a few days after the Triduum.
During the Way of Cross today Pope Francis prayed: “O Cross of Christ, teach us that the apparent victory of evil vanishes before the empty tomb and before the certainty of the Resurrection and the love of God which nothing can defeat, obscure or weaken.” May we be nourished at the table to help others carry their cross mindful of Jesus’ victory over death in the tomb.
Year of Mercy in the Land of Mercy