Pastor's Corner

2011 04-17 Holy Week

Written by:

April 17, 2011

Though we have a great devotion for the saints and though we embrace the beauty of the great basilicas that have been built throughout our history and all over the world, as places for worship, our Catholic Church is founded on the blessed gift of one man…the son of Mary…God’s own Son…Jesus of Nazareth.

And…though every aspect of His life is pregnant with meaning and though everything about Him offers us the gift we seek….the heart of the Lord Jesus, as Lord and Savior, as redeeming King…is seen in the liturgy of this week…Holy Week.

Today, the Church is transported through her living memory to the culmination of the public ministry of the Lord, His triumphal entrance into the Holy City. Within this holiest of weeks, the Church will also remember how everything seemed to go wrong…as seen through a political lens…and the adored wonder worker, the revered rabbi, the charismatic friend of the poor became the suffering servant of Isaiah, the Passover lamb, an instrument of sacrifice.

Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Today, we will hold up our palm fronds as the liturgy begins. We will take part in the reading of the Passion of the Lord. After the liturgy, Catholic tradition urges us to take the palm frond home and place it behind the crucifix in our homes and apartments. The palm reminds us that He is the son of David, the King who offers us an open door to the heart of God.

I hope that you will spend much of your Holy Week here, with me, at Saint Brigid. The last daily Mass will be on Wednesday morning. The last period for a Lenten confession will be on Wednesday evening.

Once we begin the liturgy on Thursday night…Holy Thursday…the liturgy continues seamlessly: after the liturgy of Holy Thursday, the Blessed Sacrament is taken in procession to the Altar of Repose (in our Adoration Chapel) and is kept there until midnight; the Altar in the Nave is stripped, laid bare; the Tabernacle is empty, the door wide open.

At midnight, the Church experiences the emptiness of the world…without His life, His love; on Good Friday, our deacons will offer us a meditation on His last words; then, Fr. Diosmar will lead us in the Stations of the Cross; and on Friday evening, Fr. Exumé will preside at the liturgy of the adoration of the Cross. We, the parish family of Saint Brigid, we will as one people adore one cross…silently, reflectively. Good Friday ends and Holy Saturday begins…in silence.

THEN, in the darkness of the night, death gives way to life, and darkness to Light. The great Vigil of Easter begins. The richness of the revealed Word of God will wash over us. The cleansing water of Baptism will wash over the Elect and all seeking the anointing of the Spirit and the blessing of Holy Eucharist will be invited to come and see.

Our celebration of the heart of His mission and ministry…His loving obedience to His Abba… to our Father…begins today.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam

2011 04-24 Easter Sunday…Toni’s Camp
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