We are entering into the holiest week of the year. This coming week has really captured my spiritual imagination recently. I have been moved, through a lot of prayer, to share my passion and intrigue with Holy Week so much so that I have developed a retreat to present to parishes, friends and fellow priests. I was honored to share the retreat in a one day format with many of you here at Holy Family this Saturday. Every time I lead the retreat I am moved to include more and more emotion and power. Each time I experience it through reflection and prayer, I notice something new about the saga, drama and adventure of this most Holy Week.
Here is a sample of what I am talking about and I hope that it will add to your appreciation of the richness of life led by the events of Jesus and his followers, and hence you and I and the world, from Palm Sunday through Easter.
Jesus asked his disciples to PREPARE for his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. How have you prepared for this holy adventure of Holy Week? How has your Lent been? Have you used the words that we have processed into church and displayed near the ambo to reflect on what leads us (you) to violence? Give them some reflection now in order to prepare for Holy Week. They are:
Despair Doubt Judgment
Jesus then ENTERED into Jerusalem. Are you committed to enter into Holy Week? Are you willing to take extra time to reflect on the powerful story of Christ’s journey that includes:
- Gathering with those he loves the most knowing he is going to suffer and die?
- Celebrating the Last Supper and giving us all two significant gifts: first, his REAL presence in Bread and Wine and second, a selfless example of SERVICE to others in the washing of feat?
- Are you really present to those you love? Do you serve others as you should in the spirit of Jesus?
As Jesus enters the great city of Jerusalem the people are filled with EXPECTATION. They are hailing him as a king and are moved with optimism on both political and spiritual levels, because Jesus has preached a holistic message that has challenged both civil and religious authorities. He is clearly different than any other prophet. What are your Expectations for this coming Holy Week.?
Asking some of these questions may open your heart to the phenomenal news of Christ’s Resurrection.
Please join our teens for another prayerful Passion Play this coming Good Friday at Noon, 3:00pm and 7:30pm. All three will be followed by veneration of the cross and the 3:00pm service will include the veneration of the cross, petitions and communion.
Please consider attending the Easter Vigil beginning at 8:00pm on Saturday evening as we celebrate one of the most beautiful liturgies of the entire year during which we welcome our adult Candidates and Catechumens into full communion with our Church.
Please see the front cover of this bulletin for the entire Holy Week schedule. Come and celebrate the new, full life of Easter with us and be sure to bring a friend or loved one along. Pray into the drama of Holy Week and prepare yourself spiritually.
As you may recall, I was planning on taking a six month sabbatical beginning last August and lasting until Christmas. With my mom’s decline in health and eventual death, I postponed my plans. I have requested and been granted a two month mini-sabbatical beginning April 2 lasting until June 9. My plans include extended time at four retreat houses, two local, one in Wyoming and one in Montana. My schedule will enable me to be back here at Holy Family for important events including Confirmation, First Communions and HFCA Graduation.
I look forward to this time away that will enable me to write and finish some other projects. Fr Rich Jakubik will be available for Masses, funerals and additional administrative needs. In addition , Fr. Bill Zavaski and other priests have generously offered to preside at Masses and other sacramental celebrations in my absence. Even though I welcome some time away, I will miss being with you and, as always, ask for your prayers and know that you will constantly be in mine.
Let us continue to pray for and support our Candidates and Catechumen who are on a journey towards full communion with us here at Holy Family and the Church throughout the world: Anthony Suubi (Elect/Catechumen), Andrea Ruetten, Amanda Cummings, Timothy Esposito, Penelope Ffitch-Heyes and Randall Gurvitz.