Holy Week

04-03-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In just over a week, the Church will begin the holiest week of the year. Throughout the week, the Church commemorates Christ’s death and burial. Ancient writers called this the Great or Holy Week of Our Lord’s Passion. The custom of keeping the Holy Week goes all the way back to the time of the Apostles. When the early Christians spoke about Jesus to others, they started with the Passion of Our Lord. Scholars believe that the Passion of Our Lord spread before the other parts of the Gospel were even written down. The Passion of Our Lord is really the starting point for building our relationship with Jesus.

On Passion or Palm Sunday, the more solemn part of the penitential season begins. The images in our church are veiled in purple wrappings marking this week in a unique way. On Holy Thursday when we celebrate the Last Supper - the Church commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. It is followed by a solemn procession to an altar in the Ramada for adoration until midnight. On Good Friday the Church commemorates the death of Our Blessed Savior on Mount Calvary for the sins of humanity. Beginning at 3:00pm, we will have the liturgy of Good Friday which includes the “Veneration of the Cross” in which we kiss the crucifix as a sign of our love for Jesus. Also on Good Friday, we will have our Stations of the Cross that evening at 7:00pm. On Holy Saturday, we celebrate the Triumph of Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead and we welcome catechumens into the Church. The Easter Vigil will begin with the Blessing of the Easter Fire at 8:00pm. Easter Sunday morning is the feast of Our Lord’s Resurrection and the victory of life over death and the moment of our salvation. Masses will be at 6:00am, 8:00am and 10:00am with overflow live-streamed in the hall as needed.

Why do we focus on Jesus’ suffering? Our Lord’s Passion acknowledges the suffering of humanity and gives meaning to suffering. However great or small our suffering is, we are united to Christ’s suffering. God draws especially close to those who are suffering. We all undergo trials but the question is not whether you or I will suffer. The real question is what will you do with your trials. Will you join them to His or give in to bitterness?

During Holy Week, let us remember the Passion of Our Lord… not because suffering has the last word. It does not! We recall Our Lord’s Passion because our faith points to something beyond our suffering. Christians throughout history knew that everything did not end at the tomb. If that was the end, then it would be tragic and heartbreaking. As a people of faith we see beyond Christ’s final agony and so we can see beyond all agony.

As God’s beloved children we know there is much more to life than death. Because of Christ’s suffering and death, our suffering now has great value. Join us this Holy Week as we relive the great events of our faith in Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.