Lenten Reflection

April 19, 2019

We are in the middle of the most important and solemn celebrations of the Church’s year. Last night we recalled the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood as we celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. We then watched with Christ.

Today we remember the death of Jesus in the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. This is no mere commemoration of an event in the past. It is a powerful proclamation of the effects of that death in the lives of believers.

Tomorrow we are caught up into the power of the resurrection as we take part in the Easter Vigil. In words and in symbols we show what the new life of Christ means. We hear the word, we bring light into the darkness, we renew our baptismal promises, and we eat the Bread of Life.

These three days are the highpoint of our Christian life. All that we do during them shows what we believe and what we are. The words and actions reveal our faith in the crucified and risen Lord.

These are wonderful days in every sense of the word. They take us deep into the heart of our faith. We are not merely remembering, we are actually participating in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Palm Sunday

April 8, 2019

This weekend we begin our celebrations of Holy Week with the beautiful liturgy of Palm Sunday leading us into the contemplation of the very heart of our Christian faith. This liturgy like all liturgies commemorates events in the past – but it is not solely that by any means. It also effectively makes present the saving reality of those past events and points us to their completion in heaven.

On Palm Sunday we are not engaged in some holy pantomime trying to pretend that we were present in Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago. We are rather celebrating what it means for us and our lives. Similarly with Good Friday and Easter Eve we are not pretending that we were there at the foot of the cross or empty tomb. We are celebrating the fact that we too pass from death to life by the power of Jesus Christ.

Every Mass is a celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. Holy Week, especially the Easter Triduum at its end, gives us an opportunity to enter more fully into the mystery at the heart of our faith.

Listen to the words, and watch the symbolism of these few days. They will tell us what how we are saved, how we should live, and what our future hope entails.