"All Glory, Laud and Honor!"

" Dear Friends in Christ,

For five weeks in Lent we have been preparing, by works of charity and self-sacrifice, for the celebration of our Lord's Paschal Mystery. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the whole Church throughout the world. Christ entered in triumph into his own city, to complete his work as our Messiah: to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us remember with devotion this entry which began his saving work and follow him with a lively faith. United with him in his sufferings on the cross, may we share his Resurrection and new life +Roman Sacramentary."

Those are the words we will use to greet worshipers this Saturday night and Sunday morning -- linking Lent with Holy Week. That solemn greeting thrusts us into a new week with a very unique and specific mission, to place us well within the Passion of our Lord. How might this week be different for us?

For us at the college, this will be a pretty quiet week. Our students made the mass-exodus from campus as they made their way to Spring Break. It seems unfortunate that Spring Break should simultaneously coincide with Holy Week. But Monday is St. Patrick's Day, you know, and most colleges do what ever they can to escort their students away from the college or university considering everyone seems to celebrate their Irish heritage that day -- with a robust Gaelic spirit! So naturally, some of our students are headed to the south to catch a few rays on the beach. Thus far, I've heard of many students joining their friends or meeting up with their families in Florida, Alabama and St. Thomas.

Some of our students are headed away to take part in service trips. I was not aware that we offered trips during Spring Break, but I have come to realize that we at least have students headed to San Francisco and Kentucky -- building homes, trails and relationships in our name.

Most of the students have told me that they're simply headed home for some time off, for some good bonding with the family, to attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago [and New London!] and to get a head start on the job search for summer employment.

For me, it will be a busy week at work -- Holy Week is the Church's Super Bowl -- to use a familiar metaphor! The solemn festivities will begin with the welcome above -- it will continue on Tuesday when the faithful of the diocese together with their priests and deacons join Bishop Robert Morneau at the cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass -- one of my favorite liturgies of the entire year. That will springboard us into the TRIDUUM with back-to-back-to-back liturgies [and homilies!] for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. Father Sal will rap up the week with Easter Sunday morning Mass.

Beyond the intense preparation for these sacred rites, I will be getting the office and my priory rooms in order which consists of cleaning and pitching and yes, you guessed it, opening my Christmas mail. I usually open the Christmas mail on Epiphany, but this year I decided to save the cards and letters "for a rainy day!" I'm happy to say, there haven't been that many rainy days; nevertheless, I do need to address the letters stacked up on the desk. That goes along with returning outstanding voicemails and emails and getting my wedding files in order. Last year, I spent much of Holy Week painting my priory room -- this week I plan to enjoy the room with a healthy dose of spring cleaning!

While I'm not headed to some exotic getaway -- or lying on some warm and wonderful beach, I will be undertaking simple tasks that often get overlooked or put off until later. This week, with a different sort of sensitivity I will reflect on sacred scripture which is blessed fodder for the upcoming homilies -- thus turning the ordinary into something truly extraordinary as I consider all that the Lord has done for us.

This Holy Week, amidst your coming, going, or standing still, on the beach or in the office, may you also take the time to remember and celebrate Christ's self-sacrificing love for you -- thus turning your ordinary lives into something truly extraordinary!


Anonymous said...

Happy to see the return of your "blog" ... you've been missed! During this Holy Week I'll pray you'll find some peace of mind; a little quiet time; and know that you're not "going it alone".


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