For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me.
This Sunday is the beginning of the end—suffering and death loom. In the next week, we will witness both the community of the first eucharist and also a horrible death through crucifixion.
In our world today, other deaths loom. In sub-Saharan Africa, one child under the age of five dies of malaria every minute. This is the pain, suffering, death and mourning that loom this next week as well. The lives of ten thousand innocent and precious children will end this week, along with that other innocent life we will commemorate this Good Friday.
Yet as Christians we also look toward hope, toward resurrection. Death and suffering do not have to be the end of the story. Just as we look every year to the joy of Easter Sunday, we can also look toward the hope of a world without malaria, a world of new life for those threatened by death from a preventable disease.
Every week is Holy Week—a week to be made holy by our actions. Every week is a week when we have the poor with us, and one when we can reach out to them.
2012 Lenten Meditations, Episcopal Relief and Development