Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Dear Church Family,
As I sit in my favorite prayer chair on this Wednesday morning with the sun shining in on me, I take time to reflect once again on this sacred journey that I have been privileged to take with your each Lent for the past 31 years. I also reflect on the blessings that are ours as we go through these sacred ceremonies. Starting today, which is Palm Sunday, we have praised the Lord with Hosannas and we have tried to parade around the church without failing down to witness that God is Good all the time and all the time God is Good! Here, we praise Jesus! However, without the crowd in a few days, we may see our own sinfulness. As a result, as the scripture shows the crowd and often us, we all get turned around through our own sinfulness. On Wednesday at 7 p.m., we will have our last Lenten Mass.
We can also see God’s love for us on Holy Thursday as we celebrate the institution of two of the seven great sacraments, Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist. In Holy Orders, we see that Jesus is giving the power to His apostles and to us, through His sacred words over the bread and wine. Then it becomes present again. I am so privileged to represent all of you in that way. We do this very solemnly at both masses, on Thursday and Friday nights.
On Good Friday, it is the solemn giving of Jesus’ life for us, His people. We, sometimes in our sinfulness, don’t totally appreciate God loving us as He does. At this time we will celebrate in a very bland way with Jesus’ passion and death. Then follows our veneration of the symbol we have used through the centuries. The Cross is a sign of our salvation and a sign of ourselves sinning but being redeemed.
Then on Holy Saturday at 8 p.m., some will be received into the Catholic Family. We will light the fire outside of the church, and come into the darkened building. It is really beautiful inside because the stars shine on the ceiling with our laser beams. It is a beautiful sign of light coming into the darkened world. That’s what we are celebrating. This the evening that our own Saint Augustine has called Holy Saturday, “the Mother of All Celebrations” because it is going from death to life!
Finally, on Easter Sunday, we will hold our Mass at the regular time of 9 A.M. Thanks for sharing with me this Lenten season and thanks for being a part of Holy Week in lots of beautiful ways. Now we can finally Proclaim that sacred word that we haven’t said during this time, but is written on the back of my car – Alleluia! Halleluia!! Halleluia!!!
Love, Father Bob