The Ultimate Purpose of Holy Week: The Gift of Salvation for the Human Race

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By Father Rich Tomkosky

At my parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle in Bedford, a kind soul donated a beautiful picture of Saint Micheal the Archangel showing the defeat of Satan and his minions by kicking out of Heaven the prince of demons and chaining him to limit his powers to do evil and cause havoc.

The one place in the Church where there was a nice opening for this picture was on the wall right next to the confessional in the back of the church. How appropriate, as when they faithful are waiting to go to Confession, they can look at that picture and remember in Confession the chains of sin and evil are broken, so we can experience God’s liberation and peace and joy which comes from the gift of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. Also pray the powerful Saint Michael chaplet daily.

So, what is the Paschal Mystery? It’s the life, death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus back to the right hand of the Father, as we say in the Creed; and it is the definitive defeat of Satan and all of the fallen angels and the evil they have wrought throughout history, after rebelling against God and being thrown out of Heaven, and then creating Hell as an inverse kingdom of evil, pride, falsehood, and hatred rather than the real Heaven which is all about goodness, humility, truth, and love. This is what we are going to ponder in a special way during Holy Week and then throughout the Easter season.

God through His holy angels led by Saint Micheal took care of the problem of evil in Heaven back before the human race was created, but then Satan and the fallen angels got involved again when God created in His wisdom and love the human person, male and female, made in His image and called to share in His likeness.

Unfortunately, early on when the first humans were living on earth, the devil tricked our first parents into choosing evil over good, and things rapidly went to pot! But God in His infinite goodness would not let that be the end of humanity. He promised to send a Redeemer in chapter three of Genesis and that the Woman (who turns out to be the Blessed Mother) would crush the serpent’s (devil’s) head: Our Lady is then depicted as doing that in the Book of Revelation because she gave birth to our Savior Jesus, and now Holy Week is time to enter prayerfully into the reality that Jesus defeated the devil definitively on the Cross: by dying He destroyed our death; by rising He restored our life. Never forget that! 

Father Rich Tomkosky is the Pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford and the Pastor of Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Beans Cove.