holy week 2018

March 18, 2018

Dear Friends,

At every Mass, I pray for each one of you as you continue in your Lenten Journey 2018.  You will soon be receiving a letter in the mail along with a postcard highlighting the Liturgy schedule for Holy Week here at St. John the Evangelist Parish.

During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, and continuing to Easter Sunday, the Church focuses and meditates in prayer upon the "Paschal Mystery." What does this mean?  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Paschal mystery of Christ's cross and Resurrection stands at the center of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world.  God's saving plan was accomplished 'once for all' by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ." (CCC n. 571) 

Throughout his Gospel, St. John the Evangelist focuses the life of Jesus toward "the hour."  The hour that Jesus glorifies his Heavenly Father is the entrance of Jesus into his Passion, Death on a cross, and his Resurrection from the dead.  The Paschal mystery is not just an event that happened once in time 2000 years ago.  Rather, the Catechism states that for Jesus, "His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past.  The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is - all that he did and suffered for all men - particiaptes in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all.  The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life." (CCC, n. 2085) 

We reflect upon this Paschal mystery during Holy Week and throughout the fifty days of the Easter Season.  I invite you and your family to make Holy Week an intense time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Prayerful ways to make the week holy is to attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday night, praying the Stations of the Cross and venerating the Cross on Good Friday, and participating in the most magnificent Liturgy of the Church liturgical year - the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night.  Please plan on joining our parish family as we gather in prayer to help us grow in holiness!

In Christ's Service,

Fr. John 

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