Walking with Christ through Holy Week

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 12:00 pm EST

As we journey together through the solemn days of Lent, the Alliance for Catholic Education and ThinkND invite you to join us as we walk toward the light that our faith tells us lies ahead.

Join us for Grace Period, a weekly series of audio reflections by Fr. Lou DelFra, C.S.C. ’92, M. Div. ’03, designed to meet your busy schedule and help you pause, listen for God’s voice in your life, and begin anew.

Fr. Lou invites us to walk during this Holy Week with Jesus through the great storm of His life.

Though Christ’s Way of the Cross is utterly singular in human experience, He also teaches us that His journey is one we must all make, each in our own way.

And Jesus invites us to make it – like Him, as a journey of self-sacrifice – but also as a journey of hope.

Hi. I’m Fr. Lou DelFra,
Director of Pastoral Life for the Alliance for Catholic Education
at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to Grace Period,
a weekly series of audio reflections designed for you…

to help you pause,
in the midst of the stresses of these days,
listen for God’s voice in your lives,
and begin anew.


As we enter into Holy Week, we accompany Christ into the great storm of his Passion and Death. What can he teach us, about navigating life in the storm?
Though Christ’s Way of the Cross is, in one sense, utterly singular in human experience,
Christ also teaches that his is the journey we all must make, each in our own way.
And he invites us to make it, like him, as a journey of self-sacrifice, yes, but also as a journey of hope, for the good of the rest of our world.

It strikes me that, as Jesus walks the events of Holy Week, he experiences so many things WE have experienced through this past year of the pandemic:
First, displacement from his everyday life – now far from the rolling hills of his beloved Galilee – he finds himself funneled into the cramped settings of the capital city, where he is not at home.
At times, he becomes short and severe with his disciples.
His spirit is stressed and under siege, and his human interactions show it.

He experiences fear on several occasions, and the desire to withdraw or hide,

And he experiences loneliness and isolation, captured so poignantly at Gethsemane.
His loved one are so near, yet a world apart, unreachable when he needs them most.

All of these things – stress, a depressed spirit, shortness with one another, fear, isolation from those we love – we have all experienced, each in our own ways, over these past 12 months.

And yet … and yet, throughout all these stressors and profoundly negative and potentially destructive dynamics,
Jesus uncovers, for himself, and for all of us, footholds of hope in the midst of his storm.

It is during Holy Week that Jesus spends more intentional time with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, some of his closest friends, in their home in Bethany.
It is during Holy Week that Jesus will share some of his most intimate words, teachings, and meals, with his disciples.
Can’t we too look back on this pandemic year,
And recall much more time spent with those closest to us, whether locked up together in our homes, or over Zoom, and with far less distracting us from being present to those relationships?

It is during Holy Week that a woman will approach Jesus, and pour perfumed oil upon his feet, as Jesus says, ”In preparation for my day of burial.” Later Simon of Cyrene will help Jesus carry his cross. His mother will walk with a love beyond words all the way to his apparent end. Joseph of Arimathea will protectively care for his crucified body.
Won’t we too remember the ways we have been made vulnerable during these days, and recall, tenderly, moments when others have noticed our vulnerability, and responded to it?
And the ways we have reached out to others. Our care for one another during these pandemic days may be some of the most sacred moments of our entire lives.
What Jesus said of the woman who anointed him, we too might say, “Whenever we tell of these days, we will remember her act of love.”

Finally, it is during Holy Week that Christ, realizing our absolute need for God’s abiding presence through all the trials of life, broke bread with his disciples, passed the cup, and enjoined them to do this always, “in memory of me,” leaving us the enduring gift of the Eucharist.
Though our reception of the Eucharist has been so challenged this year,
We have strived to remain connected to it in so many ways, our hearts often speaking the words from the Act of Spiritual Communion “I love you Lord above all things and desire to receive you.”
And we stand now on the threshold of that deepest human desire – the faithful companionship of God through all the highs and lows of our lives – being consummated yet again, as we return to the Eucharist.

We walk this week with Jesus through the great storm of his life;
As we do so, we continue to learn from him, how to make even this journey … a journey of hope.

Join us next week on Grace Period when we gather in the light of the Easter miracle.

Religion and PhilosophyAlliance for Catholic EducationGrace PeriodHoly WeekHopeJesusLentNew testamentNoah's ArkPrayerSaint PeterUniversity of Notre DameWay of the Cross