In the Palm Sunday readings, we begin with the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem followed by the Last Supper. Then events take a dramatic turn, including our Lord’s agony in the garden, his betrayal and arrest, Peter’s denial, Jesus’ condemnation to death, the carrying of the cross, and finally His crucifixion and death. We knew this is where our Lenten journey would take us; the road to the Resurrection leads directly through the Crucifixion, a painful reality that would be unbearable without the hope of glory.
In light of glory, this image of our crucified Lord was the inspiration for two historic chapels (Lord of Esquipulas and Santo Nino de Atocha) built in 1857 by Spanish Colonials, who settled in present day New Mexico. Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains about 35 minutes north of Santa Fe, the El Santurio de Chimayo Shrine has become a popular Easter pilgrim destination (during non-pandemic years) following the pilgrimage of survivors of the Bataan Death March, who thanked Santa Nino for their survival.
One pilgrimage you can likely make this Holy Week is to attend the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. While it is painful to contemplate the intricate details of our Lord’s torment, this practice unites us more fully to Him. When we venture to understand the tremendous depth of our Lord’s suffering and what was accomplished that day, we also gain a greater capacity to receive mercy and extend it to others. What was at once a horrific day was also more beautiful than any other.
This Lent and always, your friends at NASPA wish to encourage you to attend Stations of the Cross when you can and to give glory and thanks to our God for our eternal survival.