Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reflecting on Holy Week

Reflecting on Holy Week

   Reflecting on Holy Week today has been a great joy for me. Holy Week for me is one of the best weeks of the year. The traditions, prayers, masses, sacraments, readings, the Priests, the Bishop, the Cross, the Oils, etc.. gives the Catholic Faith life. The life that fills me and sustains me for the year. I have said I am a man of Lent. Lent is where I make gains and see where I need to focus and I think that is because Holy Week is my goal. I want to enter Holy Week on my knees and empty so I can be filled again to go out and live my faith. 

      Holy Week for me is busy. I wake up happy and excited for what the day will bring. I look forward to the masses and prayer services. I look forward to getting to church with an extra zeal and yes by the end of the night I am tired but it is that kind of tired that refreshes you by day break. I do not want it any other way. 

     On Monday at the Chrism Mass, watching the Seminarians, Deacons, Priests and the Bishop walk down the isle to the alter gives me chills and my heart beats fast because without them our Faith losses so much. We would not have Jesus in the most Blessed and Holy Eucharist. We do not have absolution of our Sins in Confession. Our sacraments are gone. For me that is what scares me more then any scary movie or fear of the Devil. Then of course this year as they all passed I could not help but think I could be part of that one day. To walk in as a Seminarian,then a Deacon, then as Priest is amazing and a blessing. Then to watch as the Holy Oils are blessed so the Sacraments can be bestowed on the new faithful at the Easter Vigil and the rest of the year is a moment that inspires and amazes me. There is a Holy Beauty that you witness that no other religion can offer. We need to embrace this and share with others so they may see this as well. When we witness such events, it changes us and that is what Holy Week is about. It is the changes we gained in Lent so graces can flow into us during Holy Week.

    On Thursday when we gathered for The Lord’s Last Supper, gave us Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. One is the center of the faith and the other is the vessel that all graces flow through to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. This is what makes us different then all others. We are people of the Eucharist. This is our Catholic Faith. To watch Jesus in the Eucharist be processed around the church and placed so we may adore Him before He is taken is what we all need to be a part of. There is no masses celebrated on Good Friday and Saturday before the Vigil. Yet, we are able to receive. Think this is how it can be if we do not have Priests and encourage Vocations to the Priesthood. So, I ask for us all to pray for our Priests and Vocations. Even say Thank You to the Priests and encourage Men to consider and pray about a vocation. 

     Good Friday brings Salvation amidst pain and sorrow. We are given the greatest gift of salvation but that gift is wrapped with tears and the blood of Jesus. This is something that we must never forget. That is why for me the Crucifix is always before me. I do not ever want to forget what was taken for me. The pain and suffering on a cross that was meant for me to face. No matter where I am between noon and three I am silent and seek a silent world around me. Good Friday is our redemption and we need to honor the blood that was shed. 

    Saturday brings the Easter Vigil. Another one of my favorites masses during the year. The traditions of the Faith are alive and are woven through the mass. From the Easter Candle being lit, to the welcoming of people into the faith, to the readings of old and new, to Eucharist being celebrated again, it is a night filled of rich and blessed history. We reaffirm our beliefs and stand united as the Church. I get lost in the mass. Everything makes my soul rejoice. There is new life that is created and flows through the church and our souls. Jesus has defeated death and the devil. He has risen and each one of us can have that as well. We can obtain all the graces that God wants for us and all we need to do is ask and respond to His will. 

   Sunday is Easter and new life for us. We look back at what Jesus did and know that He now is risen and we have won that new life as well. We gather in joy and celebration at mass. We celebrate the new Season of Easter in the church and we do this for 50 days. It does not just end on Monday morning. That new life is for everyday. 

    I hope that many of you were able to take part in some if not all the Holy Days events. If you did you know what I was talking about and if not really consider it for next year. You will be blessed beyond what you think and the experiences will shed light in your soul that nothing else will ever do. I plan on talking more about Lent and Holy week in the coming weeks. I hope you will share your experiences with others also so people can experience what we do each and every day. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may Holy Week be a start to a Holy Life for us all. 

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 263
Reading 1
ACTS 3:1-10
Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day 
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you: 
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations 
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
LK 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, 
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him, 
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning 
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

No comments:

Post a Comment