Tomorrow we begin Holy Week when we can live Christ’s last days on earth in real time.
So where is Jesus tonight?
He and his close followers are arriving at Bethany which is close Jerusalem. They are welcomed by Martha and Mary.
Also there is their brother Lazarus who was recently brought back to life in his tomb by Jesus on his last visit.
Mary, who it has been suggested is probably the group’s road manager, pours expensive ointment over Jesus’s just washed feet. This annoys Judas Iscariot who as treasurer probably does not get on with Mary.
All will eat together.
Tomorrow Jesus, whose fame has gone before him with the raising of Lazarus, will be cheered by crowds waving palms as he enters Jerusalem.
He does not appear in the calendar this year because 17 March is the Second Sunday of Lent.
But this is not as difficult as the rare year when 17 March falls in Holy Week.
It can be St Patrick’s Day on Sunday where the local dedication is St Patrick. So the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin is keeping St Patrick’s Day with the President Michael D. Higgins present. The city’s festival is a five day event.
In London there will be celebrations at St Patrick’s Soho Square on Sunday and Monday with blessing of shamrock at all Masses.
‘The Christians go mad but thanks to ashes that the Church puts on their heads they come to their senses and are cured of their madness,’ commented the Turkish ambassador to Rome in the 1690s.
Carnival ended last night and today, Ash Wednesday, we can receive ashes in church at the start of the Forty Days of Lent.
It marks our commitment to keeping Lent.
John Paul II said that going without things in Lent does not only consist of giving away what we do not need.
‘Going without things is to free oneself from the slavery of a civilisation that is always urging people on to greater comfort and consumption, without a thought for the preservation of our environment which is the common heritage of humanity.’