April 14, 2019
Today we celebrate the beginning of Holy Week with Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Mass begins with joy as we sing Hosanna to the Son of David. We commemorate the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But that joy diminishes quickly as we enter the Liturgy of the Word and begin to focus on the Lord’s Passion. Today’s readings remind us that Jesus came to reconcile heaven and Earth, all of humanity with God. Our first reading from Isaiah is part of his “Suffering Servant,” prophecies and we recognize this is Jesus. Our response is taken from Jesus’ words as He hung upon the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” St. Paul’s epistle lesson from Philippians is an early Church hymn describing Jesus humbling Himself, becoming obedient to the Father, even to the point of death. In dramatic form this Sunday we take part in the Passion story as the crowd who clamored for Jesus’ death. This year we read the Passion account according to St. Luke. As disciples of Jesus and servants of God, take time this Holy Week to open your ears to hear God’s voice. Empty yourself as Jesus did. Submit to God’s power in every situation. Then we will be able to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.
As we prepare for this Holy Week and Easter, please be sure to turn in your Flower Offering Envelopes. Also, please note the schedule of parish liturgies for Holy Week. Cut it out of the bulletin and post it on the refrigerator. On Holy Thursday we begin the Sacred Triduum. (The holiest three days of the entire year.) Morning masses in parishes on Thursday and Friday are not permitted. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be at 7pm, followed by time for private adoration until 10:00pm. On Good Friday the Liturgy of the Passion will be held at 7pm. Mass is not celebrated, but Communion (consecrated on Thursday) will be distributed. A special collection will be taken up for the Holy Land. (Having just returned from the Holy Sites, I assure you that our offerings help the Franciscans who are custodians of these sites to maintain these treasures. Please be generous.) On Holy Saturday the Church keeps vigil for the Lord’s Resurrection. There are no services during the day. The Great Vigil of Easter will be held at 8pm. We begin in darkness as we welcome the Light of Christ that conquers death and cannot be extinguished. This is the Liturgy of Liturgies. We will hear the story of creation and salvation, proclaim the Lord’s victory, renew our Baptismal Covenant, welcome new members into our family, and invite them to join in the celebration of the Eucharist for the first time. Wow! What a glorious and emotional week Holy Week is. I encourage you not to miss any of it, and to join me in celebrating it all.
Finally today, let’s remember where this week leads us; to the empty tomb. Because He was willing to endure the cross of shame, Christ has been raised. This week we will walk with Jesus through His agony and death only to prepare for the joy of proclaiming His victory. There are many parishioners who have worked behind the scenes to make this special; Ladies who have made wreaths, our three-voice choir and organist, our maintenance man, just to name a few. God bless them and God bless all of us this week,
God Bless! Make it a great Holy Week !
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)