Palm Sunday

March 25, 2018

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Today begins the holiest week of the entire Church year. Mass begins with recalling Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but the tone of this day’s liturgy quickly changes. The first reading from Isaiah begins our entry into the Suffering and Passion of Jesus. The passage from Isaiah is from one of the four “Servant Songs,” found in Second Isaiah. The passage reminds of Jesus who was faithful in suffering. St. Paul’s famous Philippian’s hymn was no doubt a hymn of the early Church recalling the Suffering Servant of God, who humbled Himself to fulfill the plan of God to save us. The dramatic reading of the Passion on this day places us in the drama of the condemnation, persecution, and death of Christ. We hear again the story of ultimate love in the words of St. Mark. The tone of Mass quickly turns to reliving this great story and seeing Jesus, who not only “talked the talk,” but who “walked the walked,” from Pilate’s praetorium to Calvary, to His burial in the tomb.

It’s hard to believe, but we have now reached Palm Sunday. Lent came early this year and now gives way to the great events of our salvation. This week is the holiest week of the entire year as we recall the great gifts of love given us by our merciful God. The final Mass of Lent will be this Wednesday. Thursday begins the Sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Please note there will be NO masses or services on Thursday and Friday morning here at the parish. On Holy Thursday, the Chrism Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral-Basilica at 10:00am. Our commemoration of the Lord’s Supper will be at 7:00pm. Mass concludes as we enter the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus to begin His Passion. Church will remain open for adoration until 10:00pm. On Good Friday no masses are celebrated in the Church in commemoration of Jesus’ Death. Simple Stations of the Cross will be held at 3:00pm. Confessions will be heard immediately following. (This will be the final opportunity for Confessions before Easter.) The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord with the Veneration of the Cross and distribution of Holy Communion will be at 7:00pm. Holy Saturday the Church waits in Vigil for the great celebration of the Lord’s victory at the Easter Vigil. This Mass, the Mass of all masses, will be at 8:00pm. I am happy to announce that David Byrne and choir will be present for all of the Triduum. Masses on Easter Sunday will be at 8:00 & 10:00am. I encourage you to make this a Holy week by attending all of the special liturgies of this week.

I was happy to see many take advantage of the special Penance Service on St. Patrick’s Day and make a good confession in preparation for Easter. Please note there will be confessions on Good Friday following the Stations of the Cross. This will be the final opportunity for confession before Easter. There will not be confessions on Holy Saturday.

Finally today, thank you to all who have joined in our Easter Flower campaign to have all our Easter Flowers a special tribute to deceased loved ones enjoying the Resurrection in Heaven. If you haven’t made an offering yet, there is still time. Please place your Flower envelope in today’s collection or drop it off at the rectory by this Wednesday.

God Bless! Make it the best Holy Week ever!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys  (Fr. Pete)