This is the Liturgy of the Hours for December 31. Your local date is .
Holy Week starts tomorrow, a sacred journey beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and continuing through the Easter Triduum. During this mystical time, we are invited to remember the terminal events of Jesus’ life and prayerfully reflect on their meaning. Therefore, throughout the next week, look for reflective insets as well as sequential scripture highlighting Holy Week. This particular collection journeys through commitment and personal growth.
Today, as a prelude to the week ahead, we see Jesus making an absolute commitment to complete his Father’s work. Speaking to his disciples prior to the Palm Sunday procession, we hear Jesus say,
“18Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,19 and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (Matt 20:18-19).
Jesus’ resolute tone helps us understand the importance of commitment. In the week ahead, can we identify and prioritize a singular goal and commit, as Jesus did, to see it through to completion? What are the choices ahead of us? Where in our lives is new life budding forth?
Inherent in decision is an opposing force, a paradox. We know we have to commit to create; yet we oftentimes fear the singular choice. New life can only come through a partnership with dedication, but we long to reserve other options.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;…” (Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”)
Written by Sarah Ciotti
 Revised Standard Version, s.v. “Matthew, The Gospel According To.”
 Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharistic, “The Mysteries of Holy Week,” Retreat, Pocatello, ID, March 2012.
 Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” Courtesy of Bartleby.com.