Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this Fifth Sunday of Lent we sense the change of mood as we approach the great and glorious feast of Easter – just two weeks away. We know that before the days of glory come the agony and the cross. The life of our Lord Jesus is the pattern for our own lives as we make the passages from darkness into light, wherein we gain the strength and stamina to meet daily challenges. Christ has always provided the means, both in the Holy Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
So often we carry interior burdens that our Blessed Lord does not want us to carry. Through the ministry of His priests, He guarantees that the burden and darkness will be lifted. So it is, indeed, time to ask ourselves that important question: “Am I ready?” – ready to be confronted by the Lord, ready to meet Him should He call. Available in all of our churches are pamphlets to assist in making a good confession, beginning with an examination of conscience. This first step of taking an honest look at ourselves will make this encounter with Christ joyful and peace-filled. He waits to give us mercy. Do not hesitate!
Furthermore, it is time to arrange our busy schedules that we may fully participate in these days of grace. Next Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, is the entranceway into Holy Week. Think of arranging a family pilgrimage to our Mother Church, St. Peter’s Cathedral, for the Mass of Holy Chrism on Tuesday, March 31, at 4:00 PM. What a beautiful experience it is as Bishop Bambera, along with the priests of the diocese, blesses the new oils used for the sacramental life in our parishes. It is also a time for priests to renew their vows of dedication to the Lord.
Above all we must not forget the Sacred Triduum, beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening; Stations of the Cross, the Celebration of the Passion, and Tenebrae on Good Friday; and then the Easter Vigil when all things are renewed, and we welcome into our family of faith Christine and Rodger who will share with us at the table of the Lord. Faithful Catholics should make every effort to participate in all or at least several of these solemn days. Grace is being poured out upon grace.