Living the Easter Triduum

Living the Easter Triduum

The Easter Triduum, which starts from Holy Thursday up to Easter Sunday, is really a splendid opportunity for all of us to appreciate Jesus’ infinite love for all of us. The Diary of St Faustina greatly helps us to appreciate and let this love change us completely.

On Holy Thursday we give thanks to the merciful God for having donated us the incredible gift of the Eucharist and its intrinsically connected sacrament, the gift of the ministerial priesthood. St Faustina had the grace of mystically witnessing what happened exactly in the upper room, 2000 years ago, when Jesus instituted these essential sacraments that make his presence so visible amongst us!

In entry 684 of her Diary the Polish saint and mystic vividly wrote: + Holy Hour. -Thursday. During this hour of prayer, Jesus allowed me to enter the Cenacle, and I was a witness to what happened there. However, I was most deeply moved when, before the Consecration, Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and entered into a mysterious conversation with His Father. It is only in eternity that we shall really understand that moment. His eyes were like two flames; His face was radiant, white as snow; His whole personage full of majesty, His soul full of longing. At the moment of Consecration, love rested satiated-the sacrifice fully consummated. Now only the external ceremony of death will be carried out-external destruction; the essence [of it] is in the Cenacle. Never in my whole life had I understood this mystery so profoundly as during that hour of adoration. Oh, how ardently I desire that the whole world would come to know this unfathomable mystery!

Jesus’ most loving self-donation for all of us in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist was then to be witnessed in his complete self-immolation on the Cross on Good Friday. In paragraph 1182 Jesus said to St Faustina: My daughter, My pleasure and delight, nothing will stop Me from granting you graces. Your misery does not hinder My mercy. My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls-no one have I excluded!

Good Friday encourages us to venerate with our mind, body, heart and soul, in other words, all of our being, Jesus unfathomable mercy for you and me! In paragraphy 1572 of the Diary Jesus says: My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. I claim veneration for My mercy from every creature, but above all from you, since it is to you that I have given the most profound understanding of this mystery.

The Mystery of Good Friday makes us realize Jesus’ thirst for our souls, we, who are poor sinners! This kind of suffering Jesus underwent was typically different from the one he experienced the day before, on Holy Saturday. In entry 648 St Faustina explains: Good Friday. At three o’clock, I saw the Lord Jesus, crucified, who looked at me and said, I thirst. Then I saw two rays issue from His side, just as they appear in the image. I then felt in my soul the desire to save souls and to empty myself for the sake of poor sinners. I offered myself, together with the dying Jesus, to the Eternal Father, for the salvation of the whole world. With Jesus, through Jesus and in Jesus is my communion with You, Eternal Father. On Good Friday, Jesus suffered in His soul in a way which was different from [His suffering on] Holy Thursday.

Jesus kept insisting that at three o’clock, of every day, He is there to grant his infinite mercy to all those who approach Him. In paragraph 1320 he said to St Faustina: At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (Diary, 1320).

On Holy Saturday of April 16, 1938, St Faustina came to learn, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that Holy Saturday is the triumphal victory of those who do Jesus’ will totally. Obviously the power that keeps them doing Jesus’ will comes from Him alone. In other words, Holy Saturday is the definite accomplishment of what St Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians when he said: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20). In entry 1667 of her Diary St Faustina says:

Holy Saturday [April 16, 1938]. During adoration, the Lord said to me, Be at peace, My daughter. This work of mercy is Mine; there is nothing of you in it. It pleases Me that you are carrying out faithfully what I have commanded you to do, not adding or taking away a single word. And He gave me an interior light by which I learned that not a single word was mine; despite difficulties and adversities, I have always, always, fulfilled His will, as He has made it known to me.

With St Faustina, and looking towards the Crucified Christ already resurrected from the dead according to the evangelist John, let us pray:

Hail, most merciful Heart of Jesus,/ Living Fountain of all graces,/Our sole shelter, our only refuge;/In You I have the light of hope. Hail, most compassionate Heart of my God, Unfathomable living Fount of Love/From which gushes life for sinful man/And the Spring of all sweetness. Hail, open Wound of the Most Sacred Heart, From which the rays of mercy issued/ forth/And from which it was given us to draw life/With the vessel of trust alone. Amen.

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Written by
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap