When it comes to travelling, you will find all types of advice. Your parents might remind you to pack a jacket 'in case of propuh* and to have 'pamet u glavu'*. Online travel guides will give you advice of where to go and where to stay while some people may simply advise you to make the most of your travels by exploring, embracing each day, learning and living through a different destination.
As Holy Week begins, I realise that I don't know many people that truly want to explore, embrace, learn and live through this coming week to make the most of this particular journey.
It seems that for those of us in the younger generation, this week can pass us by without us making the most of every single day.
To be honest, I fell in this category a few years ago. Holy Week was still important but I didn't allow its full potential to be a part of my life.
So for this week I thought I would set myself a challenge, and invite you all to take on this challenge too, of allowing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and gain a new perspective on your faith while travelling through this week. By exploring, embracing, learning something new as well as living it out, I hope that everyone can make this the best Holy Week they have ever experienced.
Explore the world's most read book. The Bible.
While you may have read or listened to this week's readings multiple times before, the great thing about the Bible is that it is timeless. You can read scripture thousands of times and each time, get something new from it.
The Bible is the only book where the author is always present when one reads it. So when reading the daily readings this week, what words will stand out for you that you can apply to your daily life?
Holy Week has its ups and downs. From Palm Sunday and the praise we see from crowds welcoming Jesus to Good Friday when he is mocked, humiliated and crucified for us, for you and I, we get the chance to reflect on the great love he has for us. Even if he had to do all of this again just for yourself, he would have. Let that sink in for a bit.
That's the type of love he wants us to understand but if we only rely on our own understanding, we can never fully recognise that.
So embrace this week. Embrace the words of scripture and his understanding. Embrace the discomfort you feel when thinking of the Passion. Embrace the moments you realise that your sin contributed to the Passion. Embrace the silence and then embrace the love and joy that awaits you at the end.
We all know the popular saying 'You learn something new each day'. So for this week, learn a new way of practicing your faith. Be in through a different type of prayer or giving up/taking on one more thing for this Lenten period. Whatever 'new' additional act you wish to do this week - small or big - allow it to then roll over into your everyday life after Lent. Learn to do something new. Something that puts you outside of your comfort zone so that when you look back on this week, you will notice the difference it made.
All these words on this article can seem great to read but it's one thing to read it and it's another to apply it.
In Venerable Fulton Sheen's words: "If you do not live what you believe, you will end up believing what you live".
By attending daily mass or Adoration this week, stay beside him. Immerse yourself into Holy Week and be the one who doesn't reject him but stands by him as he goes through torment and death for us. As Matthew 26:40 says "Could you not stay awake with me for even an hour?".
So challenge yourself this Holy Week. Make it like no other Holy Week you have experienced by not just leaning on the traditional celebrations but embracing, exploring, learning and living through each day of this week to get the most out of it for yourself and your relationship with God.
Someone wise once said "A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there". How will you finish up Lent? Will you stay with him this week and step outside of your comfort zone?
Banner photo: Pixabay
Learn some Croatian:
Propuh: A dangerous draft.
Pamet u glavu: A popular saying which translates to "Be smart in your mind"