The most central event of the liturgical year is the Easter Triduum (Latin, three days) celebrating the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. These sacred three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) are a liturgical season in themselves and not strictly part of Lent. Holy Thursday we see many things taking place such as Jesus giving us the eternal gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist. It’s through this eternal gift that Jesus is with us until the end of time. Pope Benedict XVI in his homily, Solemnity of Corpus Domini, 26 May 2005 says,
O that night, Jesus goes out and hands himself over to the betrayer, the destroyer, and in so doing, overcomes the night of evil. Only in this way is the gift of the Eucharist, instituted in the Upper Room, fulfilled; Jesus truly gives his Body and his Blood. Crossing over the threshold of death, he becomes living Bread, the true manna, endless nourishment for eternity.
He gave us himself as food for eternal life on the night of Passover. He was the sacrifice to replace the bull or lamb to atone for sins as was the custom at that time. At every mass, this sacrifice is repeated, and the miracle of Calvary is before us in our pews. How blessed are we?
This last supper also established the vocational call to the priesthood and true discipleship through servant leadership. He bent down on his hands and knees to wash the dirtiest parts of His friends. He wasn’t afraid or ashamed of taking a lesser role, a role so low, even the servant were not required to do it. He invites us to bend in humility doing the same to those he places in our lives as well.
Good Friday we enter the passion, and death of Jesus and on Holy Saturday we await his resurrection. He passes from destruction to victory. We sometimes tend to forget this when we are experiencing our own Calvary and like Jesus a lot can happen in just three days. We will suffer in our lives, but we should remember when we are suffering, that we belong to a resurrected King and we wear the invisible crown of royalty. We will one day rise and sit at the banquet table of heavenly splendor surrounded by love. That is plenty of reasons to exude joy.
Gospel of Joy (Evangelii Gaudium) Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis | November 24, 2013
5-6. The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ’s cross, constantly invites us to rejoice. … There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter…Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.