This afternoon I begin a parish mission at St. Mary of Mount Virgin Church in New Brunswick, NJ, preaching at the Palm Sunday Masses and conducting mission services till next Wednesday evening.
These days of Holy Week speak with “a well-trained tongue;” We celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, remembering the days when Jesus was arrested, judged unjustly, scourged and crowned with thorns, led to a cross and was crucified.
“He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again,”
We take into our hands palm branches this Sunday, as those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem did long ago. We listen to the story of his passion and death; they witnessed what happened to him long ago. They heard his call to faith as we do now. They promised to follow him, but the next days came. How many followed him then?
These are precious days when God’s graces are given and God calls again. The graces are given through Jesus Christ and his life-giving Cross; the call is made through his bruises and wounds and through his empty tomb.
Let us follow him, like those whom he invited into the supper room and received him in bread and wine. Like Simon of Cyrene, let us carry someone’s cross. Like the women who met him on the way, let us have compassion on those who are hurting or are in trouble. Let our hearts be open to the needs of our neighbor and the misery and hopes of our world. Like the thief, who called from his nearby cross, let us ask him for forgiveness. Like Joseph of Arimithea let us tend his body, like Mary his mother, let us hold him in our arms. Like Mary Magdalen let us see him risen from the death; like Peter and James and John let us be enflamed with new dreams for our world.
From Monday to Wednesday, at 7 PM I will conduct of service of preaching and Benediction, followed by confessions.
The Passionists provide an excellent commentary on the gospel accounts of the Passion of Jesus and the devotions that arise from this mystery at Bread on the Waters. The commentary is by Fr.Donald Senior, CP. and can be found here.