Happy Holy Week friends!
Beginning on Sunday, Palm Sunday, we entered Holy Week. Our week started with us greeting Jesus, waving palms, and shouting "Hosanna!", and it will end with His death and then Resurrection on Easter Sunday. During Holy Week, we have several unique church experiences on Holy Thursday, Good Friday. and the Easter Vigil. Let's just jump in, with three things you need to know about each of these three sacred days.
1.) It's all about the Eucharist
We celebrate the Last Supper each time we celebrate the Eucharist but Holy Thursday is special . Adoration is offered and we celebrate not only the Mass, but also the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
2.) The Chrism Mass
This is a special Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of a diocese, with as many priests as possible in attendance. During the Chrism Mass, the Bishop blesses the oils that are used during the various anointings in the coming year.
3.) Feet will be washed
During the Mass on Thursday evening, the parish priest will wash the feet of various members of the church community. The entire Mass is filled with symbolism, but this is particularly poignant to show Jesus' true role as a servant of men.
1.) There is no Mass
In honor of Christ's death on Good Friday, we do not celebrate the Eucharist. There are additional hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday so that we can still receive Holy Communion.
2.) Divine Mercy Chaplet begins
St. Faustina, a Polish nun, had a vision of Christ that explained His Divine Mercy and that it is opened particularly wide on Good Friday, when He we believe He died. The Divine Mercy Novena can be prayed at any time, but Christ (through St. Faustina) encouraged us to pray the Novena from Good Friday until the second Sunday of the Easter season, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
I recall being young and confused why we were kissing an inanimate object, but as I've grown I understand the beauty of veneration. We are a physical people who need physical signs of God's love. The Cross is one of the greatest symbols God has given us.
1.) You start outside
Those spring Easter dresses are lovely, but you do start outside to light the Easter candle (Liturgy of Light). Plan accordingly, bring a sweater!
2.) New Members!
The catechumens will join the Church during the Easter Vigil; receiving their Baptism and First Communion alongside their sponsors and community members. Welcome them!
3.) There are lots of readings
We read seven readings from the Old Testament that help trace God's promise of Christ from the very beginning. We read two from the New Testament that call us to think deeply about what Christ did for us.
What is your favorite part of Holy Week? Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to?
"So they said to him, "Who are you?""
Again and again, Jesus is asked about who and what He is by those desperate for more and more proof. The crowds would gather seeking miracles. The scribes and the Pharisees would ask questions, determined to find errors that would help support their theories about this strange man. Humanity, even when the Son of God stood in front of them, needed proof.
We live in a human world that still demands proof. Some of our greatest minds are and were dedicated and determined to find answers to unanswerable questions. We always need to know more. And like any wise child knows, there is always a possible follow-up question.
But true faith does not ask for proof. It does not ask why or "Who are you?" So, let's abstain from a need for proof this week. Let's stop shouting out when we are angry or scared for more from God. The Sacraments, the Bible, and the Church are all physical signs of God's love for us. God made us; even our need to know and understand, which is why we have been given those physical signs. But we also need to accept what God has given and choose to believe.
Choose true faith. Abstain from a need for proof.
P.S. You can find all of today's readings, including what today's blog is based on here
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