Hey there - happy Holy week!
It is the most important week for a Christian - the week we journey with Jesus; from the gates of Jerusalem, to the temple; from an upper room and a Passover meal, to the garden of Gethsemene; from the Sanhedrin to Pilate; from the scourging to the cross; and from the grave to an empty tomb. It is why we believe.
I started Lent with a vacation - a road trip with my family. It was a great time to reconnect and relax. Of course, when you have a 6 month old and a 2 1/2 year old, the “relaxed” part wears off quick ;) But even in the midst of the trials of our journey, the truth remains - road trips are important. They give us perspective, they help remind us that life is, essentially, one big journey, comprised of smaller ones. The same could be said of our spiritual life. One of those journeys for me was last summer, in Brazil. I was invited to participate in World Youth Day, the largest gathering of people in the world. It happens every three years or so, at the invitation of the Pope. It is an invitation to pilgrimage. To make a physical journey, and a spiritual one. During that week-long journey, I was asked to sing “Lord I Need You” in front of 3 million people during a time of Eucharistic Adoration. It was a very special time of prayer. Hearing 3 million people be silent is actually a sound you remember. I've had a lot of people ask me "what was that like?" "How did you feel?" "What was going through your mind?" So I've taken the time to answer some of those questions around this special moment on Copacabana Beach last summer. Check it out:
You know, people who are Catholic ask me all the time if I ever get flack for being a Catholic from fans of my music who are of another denomination, or non denominational. It’s always a joy to share that I’ve almost never gotten any. That speaks to me of a growing sense of unity in the Church - that despite our very real differences and disagreements (which are real), we still can be on a journey towards fuller unity as we stand in awe of what our God has done and continues to do in the world and through His Church. I can’t think of a better example than Pope Francis, who is reminding all believers to have a heart that is poor, and for those who are poor in spirit.
Let’s all pray this is a special week for the Church globally; that we can truly have an open heart to walk closer to the cross, deeper into the tomb, and rise to greater spaces of experiencing the resurrection in our lives. God bless you
As well, if you’re looking for a resource to help you walk spiritually this week, check out the “Journey of Holy Week” series on YouTube.