Pastor’s Letter: Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024

Pastor’s Letter: Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024

Pastor’s Letter: Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024

22 Mar 2024 | Posted by: chadmin

Dear friend,

This weekend we enter Holy Week. Everything we celebrate as Christians relates in one way or another to this week. We are encouraged to deeply reflect on His Life, His Death, and His Resurrection. Holy Week brings a completion to the Lenten journey. Every year Lent has a deepening significance for me as a priest. Because of the infinite nature of God, there is always something new to discover about God, others, or oneself. Our attendance at daily Mass during the week has been inspiring for me. I know some take daily Mass during Lent as one of the spiritual graces of the season. As a priest, daily Mass is something I simply can’t live without. It gives me the opportunity to pray, reflect, and prepare for the events of the day. This Lent, I have spoken with many parishioners who found daily Mass to be a real spiritual fruit and an opportunity for conversion. Thank you to all who sought to receive the most out of our parish Lenten journey. It truly feeds me to see the Lord working in so many lives.

The Holy Week liturgies begin with our recalling the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. The Jews who accompanied Jesus from Galilee waved palm branches to celebrate the one who comes in the name of the Lord. This entrance was obviously protested by the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem, who told the follows of Jesus to be quiet. The response of Jesus is the invitation for all of us. If they were quiet, Jesus said, the stones would cry out. This entrance of Jesus into His own city of Jerusalem was so significant that all nature recognized it, even the stones. The days that lead to the Passion were filled with Jesus proclaiming truth which increased the tension between Jesus and the religious leaders. Liturgically, Lent ends with the beginning of the Triduum. The Triduum is a liturgical season by itself, even though its only three days. In these three days, we recall the Last Supper in which Jesus recalled the Jewish freedom from Egyptian slavery with the Passover and instituted the Eucharist and the Priesthood. The supper leads to the agony in the garden, betrayal, trial, scourging, crucifixion and death. The quietness of Holy Saturday invites us into the tomb with Jesus and prepares us for the Easter Resurrection. In three short days, we recall and liturgically experience the great mysteries of our faith.

The liturgies of the Triduum are really one continuous liturgy. We start in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit a the beginning of the Holy Thursday Mass at 7 pm and conclude the Triduum with the blessing at the conclusion of the 8 pm Easter Vigil. The three Triduum Liturgies are Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper on March 28 at 7 pm, the Good Friday Passion Liturgy at 3 pm on March 29, and the Easter Vigil on March 30 at 8 pm, when the Resurrection is first proclaimed.

At the end of the Holy Thursday Mass, we will have the traditional Altar of Repose in order to enter the garden scene with Jesus. The church will remain open until midnight Thursday for private prayer. Once again this year, Bishop Lou will visit St. Philomena a little after 10 pm with at least 150 pilgrimages to pray at our Altar of Repose for a few minutes. You are all invited to attend. I encourage you to attend as much of the Triduum as you are able. These liturgies truly prepare us to celebrate the Easter Resurrection with renewed faith and joy. I hope the Lenten season was spiritually fruitful for you and that this coming week offers the opportunity to reflect once again about the joys of being a Catholic Christian.

God bless,

Father David