April 9, 2017

Holy Week: a week to remember, not just in the sense that memorable things will take place - that even in a humble parish like ours, we will experience powerful liturgies. This is a week to remember in another sense: remembering is the activity we engage in and we attempt to focus on what really counts. When all is said and done, we celebrate the one thing we must never forget. As Fr. Richard Neuhaus said, “If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is, quite simply, the truth about everything.” A poignant story will bring home this point.

It is about a man suffering from Alzheimer’s. Sometimes we joke about the disease - it is natural considering how much forgetfulness is part of our human condition. But Alzheimer's is more than forgetting birthdays and where the keys are. For the person's family, Alzheimer’s is a wrenching burden. In this case, the family watched in pain as the man lost different aspects of his memory. First, he began forgetting ordinary things like how to turn on the shower or to use a toaster. Soon he could no longer remember people who were his old friends or close work associates. Then he began to forget even who his children were and, finally, his wife. As the man’s life was drawing to an end, his family gathered around the sick bed. He knew none of them. His wife placed a small crucifix in his hand. At first he seemed puzzled, then looked intently and said, “Jesus.”

That man had forgotten everything, but he did remember the one thing which matters— the event which includes everything else. From his childhood he had closely followed the activities of Holy Week. He became convinced that it enacted the most important happening in human history. And that it was also the most important happening in his life - and yours and mine. The day Jesus took our sins away. This morning we listened to the Passion of our Lord, according to Matthew. We will hear the Passion once again on Good Friday, according to John. May we not miss the graces God wishes to pour out upon us – that this will indeed be for us a week to remember!

Holy Week Matters… Last chance for Confession before Easter: Tuesday evening this week from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm. There are no confessions scheduled after Tuesday…. Don’t forget that Good Friday is a day of FAST (only one full meal) and ABSTINENCE (no meat). This is a most solemn day on the church calendar, a day for prayer and reflection.… Please consider helping with the decorating of the church after the Good Friday service. The flowers will be delivered and decorating should only take about an hour if we have enough help. Make it a family affair!

Please note that there is a special Mass schedule for Easter. The Easter Vigil Mass next Saturday evening begins at 7:30 pm. There is no 4:00 pm mass on Holy Saturday. On Easter Sunday we will follow the summer schedule: Masses will be offered at 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 12:00 Noon.