Pointy hats and robes - startling to see - mean different things to each of us. In Monday's post I discussed the beginning of Holy Week - all the activities and celebrations to be observed during this holiest week of the year. To make a point - to startle - to open eyes - the celebration photo I selected showed a group of people clad in various colored robes - white - red - purple - all wearing pointy head coverings. As an American - at first sight - some would think that was a photo of a group that many in America find very un-Christian. That is not who those are - shown in the photo - these are people from Spain - celebrating - Semana Santa - Holy Week. Those in the garments - men who belong to various Catholic brotherhoods - deeply spiritual men - observing a tradition that dates as far back as the late 1100's - penitents - wearing the nazareno - penitential robe - consisting of a tunic - hood with a conical tip - capirote - used to hide the face of the wearer - often with a cloak. Dating from medieval Spain - this tradition continues today - a very serious - holy time of year for the men who belong to the different brotherhoods. Processions - led through the towns - often with large statues - paso - on the shoulders of the penitents - some in chains - offering a public act of penance.
During this week - Jesus asks us - as individuals - to seriously reflect on our relationship with Him - to contemplate the sacrifice He made for each of us. He does not demand we wear robes - nor chains - only to change our hearts - to be Christ like. He asks that we honestly consider - the precious gift of salvation - at no expense to ourselves - paid in full - by the price - of His blood.