A great French Catholic writer, Pierre Babin, wrote, “Pain is the law underlying all masterpieces.” Come to think of it – his words are so true. No great masterpiece that has survived the passage of time was created without blood, sweat and tears. Michelangelo was an old man when he lay on his back to paint the immortal frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He suffered much not only physically but also mentally and spiritually as he sparred with certain ecclesiastics. Without Mahatma Gandhi’s sacrifice India would not have achieved her freedom from colonial rule.
The great masterpiece of God’s plan of redemption was no exception to this rule. God did not work out our salvation without pain and suffering. His Son bore every pain that we encounter in our lives – physical pain, mental anguish, rejection, sense of abandonment, betrayal by a friend and ignominy. He underwent the most painful, shameful death on the Cross. He laid down His life not to quench the blood lust of an angry God but to make us aware of the boundless love of this God.
As we enter into Holy Week we recall the great sacrifice made by the Son of God for each one of us. All of us need to share in His suffering and death so that we may partake of His resurrection. The Church offers us great opportunities during the Holy Week. Welcome Jesus just like the crowds did as He rode into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday. Unlike those crowds we will try to be loyal to Him and not turn against Him on Good Friday. Come and join us for Palm Sunday Masses and listen to Mark’s account of Christ’s passion and death.
We welcome you to our Holy Thursday liturgy in the evening when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Just as Jesus broke bread with His disciples, He will share His body and blood with all of us. We will have the opportunity to wash each other’s feet, imitating the example of the Master who washed His disciples’ feet. We will accept Jesus’ challenge to love one another as He has loved us and thus live the New Commandment in our lives. We will also pray for priests everywhere so that following the example of Jesus they may lay down their life for the faithful.
On Good Friday we will return for an evening liturgy wherein we will pray for the many needs of the Church and of the world. We will venerate the cross, the symbol of our faith and the pledge of our redemption. We will listen to John as he describes for us the last hours of Jesus’ life. We will wait in expectant silence as Jesus’ lifeless body is cradled in the arms of His mother and then laid to rest in the borrowed grave of a friend.
On Holy Saturday the Church does not celebrate the Eucharist because she awaits her Lord’s resurrection. We will gather together on Saturday night to celebrate Christ our light. We shall keep vigil as we make an epic journey through God’s Word and relive the history of God’s salvation. We will sing the praises of Christ, the Light of the World, who drives away the darkness of our lives. We shall rejoice with our catechumens as they enter the baptismal font to be reborn in the Spirit. We shall welcome our candidates into full communion with the Catholic Church. Our sacred space will resound once again with the sacred strains of alleluia because the Lord is risen. If you are unable to attend our Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, please plan on participating at our Easter Sunday Masses at 7:30 am, 9 am, 10:30 am and noon.
I exhort all parishioners to participate in as many liturgies as possible. Let us enter into the paschal mystery of Jesus, our Savior, and in some mystical way receive the marks of his passion on our bodies. The gloomy darkness of Good Friday will make room for the joyful light of Easter morning.
Please hold the parish in your prayers, and may the mysteries of Holy Week be seared into our souls
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...