The Solemnity of the Triduum


Annie Muller // Genius of the Call

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April 6  

Today begins the Triduum, the solemn and beautiful three days that lead us through the Last Supper, the stages of the Passion, and ultimately to the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord. Regardless of how productive or successful we feel our Lent has been, these three days are a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the reality of what Christ did for us and how it changes the way we live. 

We all have different traditions and ways of observing this week, and the season of motherhood you’re in has a lot to do with how you enter into this time, but I encourage you to find a way to observe these three days. Whether it is attending Mass, washing your children’s feet, or reading the Passion and saying the Stations of the Cross, it’s important we set these days apart and ponder what the Lord has done. 

We begin with Holy Thursday. What a glorious day! The day the Lord instituted the Eucharist and instructed us to remember his sacrifice, but more importantly, on this day, we recall that he is always with us. In the book, Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen puts it this way: He exhausts the resources of his love, and offers himself to man, not only as Redeemer, who will die for him on the Cross, but also as the food which will nourish him. He will feed man with his own flesh and blood; moreover death might claim him in a few hours, but the Eucharist will perpetuate his real, living presence until the end of time (Divine Intimacy, 392). We remember on this day the agony in the garden, the abandonment of our Lord by his friends, the loneliness and fear that surrounded him, and his cry for the Father to spare him immediately followed by his surrender to the Father’s will. It is in Christ’s total surrender to the Father that we find the answer for our existence. We are here to know and love and serve a God who suffered all things for us, and this should change the way we live. The Master who gave his life for our salvation tells us by his example that our love is incomplete if we cannot sacrifice ourselves generously for others. As mothers, we should rejoice in this reality because it is the very nature of our vocation. 

Good Friday, continues Fr. Gabriel, is the day more than any other that invites us to enter into the thicket of the trials and pains of the Son of God and not only with the abstract consideration of the mind, but also with the practical disposition of the will to accept suffering voluntarily, in order to unite and assimilate ourselves to the Crucified (Divine Intimacy, 395).

We can marvel at the reality that God’s kingdom came to earth by way of sacrifice and suffering. He did not become an earthly king, he did not overthrow a government, he endured excruciating pain and humiliation; he gave his life that we might live. In response, we can bear the trials of life with great purpose, with great hope. We can teach our children to look to Jesus when they are hurting, when they are betrayed, when they are abandoned or afraid.

As we teach our children to suffer well and with purpose, we always point them to Holy Saturday and to the Resurrection. As Christ’s earthly body dies, the earth cries out and quakes, the veil is torn, graves are opened up. Christ frees the prisoners of hell, and he defeats Satan and all the works of darkness. He is our hope. On this Holy Saturday, may we be the faithful women who could not tear themselves away from the cross, even as we look to Resurrection Sunday and prepare a place for the Risen Lord. What Christ did in these three days, what he does on Sundaythis changes the way we live and this changes the way we see the world. 

As we walk with Jesus through this Holy Week, may our hearts be full of gratitude and hope, and may we ask him to show us all the dark places in our own hearts that need to be redeemed. May he roll the stone away and lead us into eternal life with him.

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