From the Pastor – April 3, 2022

I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know Him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Phil. 3:8-11)

St. Paul constantly used the words “in Christ” to speak about his goal.  He wanted to “gain Christ” and gain righteousness from faith “in Christ.”  The great spiritual classic “Imitation of Christ” and even wrist bands asking “What Would Jesus Do,” remind us that we are called to configure our life to Christ.  We don’t just follow His example, we are called to live like Him.  When we suffer, we carry His cross.  When we rejoice, we thank Him. Easter is a good time to conform our lives to the Passion.

There are only two weeks until Easter Sunday. Next weekend is Palm Sunday, and then we begin Holy Week.  Each year there are quite a few who attend all of the events of Holy Week, but many people limit themselves to the bare necessities:  Holy Days of Obligation.  If you have never really experienced all of the services of Holy Week, consider doing so this year. Commemorating the events of the Lord’s Suffering and Death help us to have a greater understanding of the importance of the Easter Resurrection.  Jesus had to suffer and die before he rose.

On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m., which commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist when Jesus washed his Apostle’s feet.  This Mass begins the Sacred Triduum, and it is when the Eucharist is removed from the Tabernacle in the center of the church and “reposed” in another altar to commemorate Jesus’ being arrested and jailed.  We will have Adoration at this Altar of Repose from the end of Mass until the sun rises on Good Friday at 6:00 a.m.   On Good Friday the church will be open beginning at 7:00am for those who are walking to visit the nine churches.  Also open will be St. Henry Church and Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, both of which will be closed at noon.  Later on Good Friday will be the Veneration of the Cross at 3:00 p.m., the hour of the death of Our Lord. Finally, we will have the Easter Vigil Mass at 8:00 p.m., which will be preceded by Confessions at 6:30 p.m.  There will be no 4:00 p.m. vigil Mass, and Masses on Easter Sunday will be as usual at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Next Sunday there will be a sign-up sheet at the back of church for those who will respond to the plea of Jesus “to stay awake with me one hour.” (Mt. 26:40) on Holy Thursday.  It is one of the most solemn nights of the year to contemplate Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prepares for his Passion and Death. Please consider taking one of the hours to fill out our Holy Thursday Vigil. And please consider attending all of the events of Holy Week, which is the most important week of the year for all Catholics.

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty