Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We observe in our Gospel this week that Martha and Mary depended upon their own human experience to feed their insight into the person of Jesus. Although Martha claimed belief, she did not understand what “Christ the Son of God’ meant. When Jesus raised Lazarus for the dead he made clear that God is not limited to human understanding and expectations. Jesus deepens our belief and reveals the glory of God and eternal life.
Sometimes we can get so caught up during Lent with doing ‘penance’ and giving up something that we forget that Lent is about encountering Jesus and coming to a deeper relationship with him. As we enter the final stretch of our Lenten season, now is a good time to access how our Lenten journey has helped us move to a closer relationship with Jesus, and with the community. If we are seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness, then our Lenten journey will bear fruit not only in our lives, but the lives of others.
As we move into the Holy Season of Easter, We will be a witness to the Sacraments of Initiation as we continue mission of Jesus Christ by welcoming our new members to the Church through baptism and the profession of faith. We will have 25 young people along with 4 adults coming into full communion with the Church. Of the 25 young people, there will be 5 of them that will be baptized. This is a great witness to the life of the Church. Please pray for the candidates and catechumens and they continue their journey into full communion in the Church.
We commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, being greeted by the peoples with the waving of palms on Palm Sunday. For next weekend’s Palm Sunday celebration we will have a solemn formal procession entrance at the 5:00 pm Saturday Vigil Mass and the 5:00 pm Sunday evening Mass. The solemn formal entrance includes the ministers and assembly who will be processing into the Church from Guyot Hall. A simple entrance procession will take place at all the other masses where only the priests and ministers enter the Church from outside front entrance.
Palm Sunday is the celebration of Our Lord’s triumph as King of Israel, and we will greet Him with the words His own people used for Him when we participate in the procession with palms at church, and the Mass that follows. The processional reminds the congregation that we participate in our salvation and offers worshipers a chance to be the procession rather than only observe it. With both the procession and solemn entrance, the intention is to underscore the importance of how Liturgy involves movement and participation and the involvement of the entire congregation in celebrating the paschal mystery.
On Good Friday, April 18th, there will be a special live Stations of the Cross at 5:30 pm. Our own young people from the current 2014 confirmation class will be performing the Stations of the Cross. Please use this time to contemplate what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us, and to pray for and support the young people in our parish.
At the beginning of Lent, I introduced to the parish a way in which we all could explore our faith during this time of season. Each family of STHY should have received a copy of Matthew Kelly’s book, Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living Life with Passion and Purpose. I am truly hoping that everyone has had a chance to read Kelly’s book because in my opinion it is a good book in general for a Catholic to read and it challenges us as a Catholic to take a more active role in the church by intentionally growing individually in our spiritual life. Now that we are near the end of the Lenten season, I personally want to get your feedback about this book. What do you think about it? Was it a good read for you and your family? Would you recommend this book to others? Did the book help you explore and deepen your faith? Please go to our website sthyacinthchurch.org to ‘Ask Father’ or comment on our Facebook page and give us your opinions and feedback about Matthew Kelly’s book. Thank you all for taking the time to reflect on your faith this Lenten season.
Next, Our 2014 Parish Bazaar is on May 4th 2014, only a few weeks away. If you have not picked up your 2014 Bazaar raffle tickets, they are available during select times in the Church Narthex, Guyot Hall or pick them up from our parish office. You may return the bazaar tickets to an usher before or after Mass, or return the tickets to the parish office.
Let’s take a look ahead to the Holy Week schedule. Our Holy Week schedule is as follows: Holy Thursday 7:00 pm, Good Friday Services 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm; Easter Vigil, Saturday Evening 8:30 pm. Easter Sunday 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 Noon, with two overflow Masses in Guyot Hall at 10:00 am and 12:00 Noon.
With all those masses and services we will be stretched thin on ministers to help cover the many needs of the Holy Week Liturgy. In particular I am asking our Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion to please sign up to assist at one (or two) masses if at all possible. Same goes for our Sacristans, Acolytes, Altar Servers, Ushers and Greeters. We will have a lot of visitors with us this Easter season and we need your presence, please.
Fr. Reginald Samuels