We are entering Holy Week, the week we prepare for the celebration of the passion and death of Jesus. It is the biggest week in the Church Year and any feasts that are to be celebrated this week are put off til after Easter.
There is a reason for this: the Church calls on us to use every day of this week to get our hearts and minds into tune with what is going on. The readings at Mass come from Isaiah up to Thursday, and the gospel of John, for Monday Tues and Wednesday: they are constantly preparing us for the passion and death of the Lord.
The very first lines of the readings for the week, Isaiah 42:1 read,
“Here is my servant whom I uphold, the one in whom my soul delights.”
In this line we are given the person who is going to be involved in the conflict: the Gospel of John sets the timing and scene.
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was.”
From the previous chapter of the gospel we know that Bethany is only two miles from Jerusalem.
We have the person, the chosen one of God, the place, Jerusalem, and the time, Passover week, we are ready for the action. The stage is set, the players have been announced. During the rest of Holy Week we shall watch the action unfold.