Next weekend begins the most important week of our liturgical year. On that weekend, we will celebrate PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD. This is the time when Jesus is proclaimed as priest and victim, prophet and God, King and Lord. As the Gospel reading of the day, we experience the Passion of Our Lord. It can be quite moving, especially when the congregation shouts “Crucify Him!”. I know that personally I feel so conflicted about that. On one hand, I am living in a “hindsight is 20/20” world. I know that if the Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross, we would not have been redeemed from our sins. (The people of his day certainly did not have this insight.) On the other hand, I love Jesus with all my heart and soul and to ask for his crucifixion is devastating.
This scenario reminds me of the prologue of Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. If you found out that your son could be sacrificed for a medical cure that would save the world, would you do it? What parent can make that kind of a choice? Well, apparently God the Father did. Pretty powerful, right? And the other part of the equation is pretty powerful as well. Why would Jesus allow himself to “go through with it”?
I think it puts the whole “GOD LOVES ME” in perspective, doesn’t it?
So, one last thing about Palm Sunday before I move on. I want to invite you to come on Sunday night to experience the Passion Play that is acted out by members of our Spanish-speaking community. Yes, the dialogue is in Spanish, but I think the story tells itself quite well even without words. It will be presented in the Parish Center parking lot at 6 p.m. All are welcome.
On Tuesday, you are encouraged to come to our TAIZE MEDITATIVE PRAYER SERVICE at 7 p.m. Taize worship is a prayer service consisting of meditative singing and periods of silence in order to reach a contemplative state. During this service, the environment is filled with candles in a darkened church. You will feel so calm and centered by the end of the service. It puts you in a grounded place as you approach the Sacred Paschal Triduum.
The Triduum is a single feast, the Paschal Mystery and they are the three most solemn days of the liturgical year: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. If there were ever three days that Christians should want to go to
Church to pray, it would be the Triduum. These days are meant to be celebrated with the community at liturgy and are referred to as our “pilgrimage feast” when we ought to make a pilgrimage from our homes to church to commemorate and honor how the Lord Jesus laid down his life for us, his friends, and for our salvation.
Please make it a top priority to go to church to celebrate the Triduum this year. Reserve the time. Rearrange your schedule if necessary. Take some personal time off from work. Suspend errands or jobs around the house. Drop everything. Plan to attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. These days may not be Holy Days of Obligation, but none are more important.
And I promise you that if you attend these sacred services, your faith will be increased. You will not be the same person spiritually that you are today. I have printed the Holy Week schedule in this week’s bulletin for planning purposes.
Our parish motto is Gather, Worship, Share, Transform. These three days offer the opportunity to experience all of those elements.