The annual Eucharistic Congress of the Diocese of St. Augustine takes place this coming weekend June 17 and 18th, 2022. Jesus invites us to “come to me, all you who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest.” So let us mark our calendars and join our brothers and sisters in adoration and reflection on the Bread of Life. See here for more details.
Holy Week is the week before Easter Sunday, beginning seven days before with Palm Sunday. It ends with Holy Saturday. Easter is not part of Holy Week, but rather the beginning of the Easter season of the Liturgical year.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. On this day, we celebrate the triumphant entry of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, into Jerusalem, riding a donkey. On that day, the people laid palms before Him, a gesture reserved for triumphant leaders. We celebrate this at Mass by distributing palms to the faithful who may keep them for a time for use as devotional objects. The palms are blessed at Mass. The faithful sometimes craft portions of palm fronds into crosses. Eventually, these palms are returned to the Church where they are burned. Traditionally, their ashes are saved and distributed at next year’s Ash Wednesday services.
Later, when Jesus entered the Temple, he angrily drove out the money changers who had turned the Temple court into a place of business instead of devotion. Once the court was cleared, Jesus began teaching the masses. Meanwhile, His enemies drew plans to kill Him.
The next major event in Holy Week is Holy Thursday. On this day, Jesus celebrated the Passover feast with the disciples. We know this feast as the Last Supper. This is the night He was betrayed by Judas and arrested. (Courtesy, Catholic Online)
“Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God’s own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God’s equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God’s name. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 589)
Our tri-parish Penance Service comes up Wednesday April 6th, 2022 at 6.30pm. The venue is Holy Rosary church. As usual, we will have several priests in attendance at the service. Having our sins forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation is an essential part of our lenten discipline.
As we begin the season of Lent, we have another opportunity to gather during this first full week to listen, reflect and deepen our spiritual lives. Our retreat this year will be facilitated by Tom and Jean-Marie Edwards, and hosted here at St. Pius V church. Everyone is invited, along with family and friends. For more details on each day’s focus please see this flyer.
“Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. Contemplate the meaning and origins of the Lenten fasting tradition in this reflection. In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God’s gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446).
In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.”(usccb.org)
“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.” Joel 2.12-18. Ash Wednesday this year is on the 2nd of March. It is also the beginning of the Season of Lent during which we are particularly invited to Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence, and Almsgiving. As usual, there will be Stations of the Cross at 6.00pm every Friday, except during our Tri-Parish Lenten Retreat.
There will be Mass and distribution of ashes at 8.00am and then at 6.30pm at Holy Rosary.
Today, we celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God. The word of God is “alive and active” every day in our lives as Christians; but on this Third Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, we are invited to pay renewed attention on the scriptures and its place in worship, in our family life as well as our individual lives. See more about this celebration here