by Parish Staff
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you!
Today, as we celebrate the Lord Jesus’ triumphant entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem, we need to take the time to reflect on the great love that He has for us. On that first “Palm Sunday”, Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that before the week would end He would be nailed to the cross and give his life for us. We will hear in the Gospel today how Jesus was accused of being the Son of God, the Messiah; and because He was guilty as charged, he willing suffered His passion and death so that you and I could live with Him in eternal life in heaven. All we have to do is to live our life in a way that truly reflects our belief in Him. He is Messiah and lives among us today!
This is the holiest week of the year. On Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m., you are invited to join with Bishop Michael Mulvey and the priests of the diocese for the Mass of the Chrism. During this Mass all the holy oils that will be used in the administration of the sacraments for this year will be blessed. This is also a special Mass for the priests, as they will be asked to renew their priestly commitment and rededicate themselves to the service of the Lord and the Church.
Let me also remind you of the importance of the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m., and encourage you to make whatever sacrifice you have to make to be present and participate in this Mass when we will recall the two sacraments that Jesus gave us during the Last Supper — Holy Orders and the Eucharist. After the homily of this Mass, I will wash the feet of twelve people as a remembrance of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles as a sign that we are all called to be of service to one another. After Mass, the church will remain open for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 10:00 p.m. This is a time for us to join Jesus in the garden as he prayed before His Passion. Hopefully you and I will make time to be alone with the Lord Jesus ever present in the Blessed Sacrament. This will be a time for us to be quiet with Jesus. This will be the last time that I celebrate this Mass with you. It would mean a lot to me if we could fill the church for this Mass.
Good Friday Service will be at 12:00 noon. I hope that we will fill the church as we take the time to remember Jesus’ death of the cross. During this celebration we will have the opportunity to pray for the universal needs of the Church, to adore the wood of the cross, and to receive Holy Communion. This is a solemn day for us. It is also a day of penance, which means that it is a day of fast (the two smaller meals do not equal the main meal) and abstinence (cannot eat meat). It is a day of sacrifice as we meditate on the death of Jesus. There will be Stations of the Cross at 6:30 p.m.
On Holy Saturday evening we will gather again at 7:00 p.m. to bless the new fire and Easter Candle. This is the most solemn Mass in the Church’s calendar. The Lord will speak to us in His Word. After the homily, those adults who have been preparing themselves for the past seven months in the RCIA program will receive their sacraments and be brought into full communion (membership) of the Church. The ceremony is a little longer than normal Sunday Mass, but the time seemingly passes rather fast. One will certainly feel the Holy Spirit working during the Holy Saturday Mass. It will be the first Mass of Easter when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Jesus from the dead.
On Easter morning, we will have the 7:30, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Masses only. There will be no evening Mass on Easter Sunday.
We should make an extra effort to be present for all the Holy Week services. This is a solemn week for Catholics. Don’t let the things of the world occupy your time so as to keep you from being present for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
I love you,