Greetings to all,
With the grace of God we start Holy Week. The Gospels remind us that on this day Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem, and is received with joy by the people who cheered Him with palms. He enters riding a small donkey as a sign of humility and to show that His kingdom is not of this world; the people shouted with joy: “Hosanna! Long live the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in heaven!” (Luke 19, 38). It is the procession of a king. But this is not the case for Jesus. There are no trumpets, no fancy clothes, and no signs of wealth. It was just people and their makeshift red carpet made of capes and palm branches. Jesus invites us to enter this Holy Week with humility, with a desire for conversion and repentance for our sins. We will all receive palms as a sign of peace and hope; a sign that we have chosen to follow Jesus on the way to the Father. The presence of the palms in our homes is a reminder that we have cheered Jesus, our King, and followed Him to the cross. It is also a reminder that we are consistent with our faith, and we follow and hail the Savior throughout our lives.
Last Sunday you received a calendar with the parish activities of Holy Week. This year we will have something different: on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, we will expose the Blessed Sacrament, then we will pray the Holy Rosary and have a short reflection on the passion of the Lord. This will begin at 5:00 pm in English and 7:30 pm in Spanish. I encourage everyone to participate.
On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood – I ask a special prayer for all priests and especially for those who work with you. The Lord’s Supper Mass (bilingual) will be at 7:00pm. Following the mass we will take the Blessed Sacrament in procession to Hannan Hall where we will set up a special altar and remain there in adoration until midnight.
On Good Friday, a day of penance and reflection, we will have confessions starting at 9:00 a.m. We will pray the Stations of the Cross in English at noon, and the liturgy of the Passion in English at 3:00 p.m. At 5:00 p.m. we will pray the Stations of the Cross in Spanish, this will be done around the parking lot and will be followed by the liturgy of the Passion of the Lord. Holy Saturday is a day of silence and meditation, let us imagine our Blessed Mother with a broken heart for the loss of her son; I invite you to pray the rosary commending all those mothers who have lost their children. In the evening, we will celebrate the Easter Vigil in English at 8:30pm and in Spanish at 11:30pm. I ask that we take in our prayers the catechumens of our parish who will be baptized that night.
Finally I inform you that the week after Easter, we will only have one daily mass at 9:00 am, we will not have confessions during the week either until Saturday afternoon. I hope you understand that after Lent we take a little bit of time to rest. I commend myself to your prayers and rest assured that I always keep you in my prayers. I wish that we live this Holy Week with great intensity and that we can celebrate the Easter triduum in grace.
God bless you,