Letter from the Pastor
Dear Friends in Christ,
As the Church in her opening prayer in today’s liturgy beautifully prays, “Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection.” This is an invitation to enter more fully into the liturgies of this Holy Week, during which we take this single week in our entire year so as to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. “In a sense, all human history – past, present, and future – converges upon this one week. The whole life of the Church – the life of grace and of the Sacraments – flows from the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery...The contemplation of the passion, death and resurrection of the Son of God can move the heart and mind in ways that no other subject can; nearly two thousand years of Christian art, literature and music amply testify to this fact.” (The Week of Salvation, James Monti, p. 9)
Holy Week, especially those three days “Easter Triduum”, are in a sense our annual liturgical pilgrimage to the temple that is Christ, who was destroyed but three days later was rebuilt. And so our celebrations are thus intimately linked to that first Holy Week. James Monti emphasizes this point in his book when he wrote, “The Mass is the sacrifice instituted in the upper room on the first Holy Thursday and offered on Calvary on Good Friday; in Holy Communion we receive the glorified Body of Him Who rose from the Tomb on Easter Sunday. Thus it is during Holy Week that the Liturgy of the Eucharist takes on a heightened significance as we commemorate the events it embodies.”
In other words, the summit of our entire liturgical year is in the celebration of the Sacred Easter Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord. Having nearly completed our forty days of Lent, we have finally arrived to the Festival of the Passion which is desired by all, and which all human speech falls short in explaining. As one author once wrote, “Nothing can express the fervor, love, and pious veneration, with which she celebrated those holy days, on which the Church, by ceremonies so touching, and so expressive, recalls to the mind of the faithful, the sorrowful and unspeakable mystery of our redemption.” As we enter into this watching with our Lord in His passion, death and resurrection, let us realize that in virtue of the Communion of the Saints, we keep watch with all those that have gone before us, all those observing Holy Week this same year, and all those that will one day be. And so let us hasten to accompany our Lord in this Festival of the Passion joining our voices with those of the saints in our eternal song of praise: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts.
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson