Holy Week 2023: Readings and Feasts

APRIL 3 Mon Monday of Holy Week Is 42:1-7/Jn 12:1-11

4 Tue Tuesday of Holy Week Is 49:1-6/Jn 13:21-33, 36-38 

5 Wed Wednesday of Holy Week Is 50:4-9a/Mt 26:14-25 

6 Thu Holy Thursday Ex 12:1-8, 11-14/1 Cor 11:23-26/Jn 13:1-15 

7 Fri Good Friday Is 52:13—53:12/Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9/Jn 18:1—19:42 

8 Sat Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil: Gn 1:1—2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a/Gn 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/ Ex 14:15—15:1/Is 54:5-14/Is 55:1-11/Bar 3:9-15, 32—4:4/Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28/ Rom 6:3-11/Mt 28:1-10 

9  EASTER SUNDAY 11 Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9 

The gospels for Holy Week are mostly from the Gospel of John. The gospels are more than factual accounts. They help. us understand what’s behind it all. Why did Jesus, the Son of God, suffer and die? To explain what happened, they turned to the Jewish scriptures, as Jesus told them to do after he rose from the dead. John’s gospel shows the glory of this story; it’s the gospel least like Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”, which tries to portray exactly what happened to Jesus on the last days of Holy Week.

Monday of Holy Week we’re at a meal in Bethany, where Martha, Mary and Lazarus,  celebrate God’s blessings with Jesus and his disciples. It’s a thanksgiving meal: Lazarus was raised from the dead. By dying Jesus brings life to the world.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Again we are at a meal, with disciples who will abandon Jesus. One of them, Judas, will betray him. But Jesus does not abandon them, nor will he abandon us and our world.

On Thursday, at table with his disciples Jesus does not wash his hands of them, he washes their feet as a servant would do. A sign of such great love. Then– Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians recalls– Jesus took bread and wine and gave them to his disciples as his body and blood.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On Good Friday the readings from Isaiah recall the Suffering Servant who gives his life for others, and Psalm 22 recalling his suffering. The Gospel of John tells the story of Jesus’ Passion today. He sees Jesus as a conquering  King even as he suffers and dies. For a commentary on the Passion Narrative of John by Fr. Donald Senior see here. 

On Holy Saturday evening, readings from Genesis and other readings from the Old and New Testament speak of Jesus and his mission to save the world. On Easter various gospel accounts announce his resurrection. He has risen! The waters of baptism are a sign that we shall live and rise too.

Morning and Evening Prayer for Week 2  here.

Stations of the Cross for Adults here.

Praying with Children here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s