Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today is Laetare Sunday, a Sunday distinguished from most other Sundays by the fact that rose vestments are used in place of the usual Lenten violet. Only Gaudete Sunday, in Advent, also uses rose vestments. In these seasons, where we experience either expectation of the birth of the Lord, or meditate upon our own sinfulness in anticipation of the Lord’s Passion and Cross, the Church, on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and 4th Sunday of Lent, gives us a short respite. More festive vestments are worn, the organ is played again, and the relics re-appear upon the Altar. These Sundays remind us, as we go through this valley of tears, that there is hope. These Sundays also remind us that the Lord has come into the world and that He has suffered and died for us, that we can have life, and have it more abundantly.
May this Laetare Sunday, Latin for ‘to rejoice,’ help re-invigorate our Lent, so that we may carry through with our Lenten observances until Easter. From here, we enter into a more intense period of preparation for the death of our Lord, which was a terrible crime against humanity, when humanity killed its Creator and Redeemer; may we meditate these next few weeks, specifically on the Passion. St. Philip Neri could never meditate upon the Passion without turning pale and having his eyes fill with tears for what our Savior did for us, and for what He offers us. May we never take this for granted, and remember what awaits us is Heaven. The joy of this day will soon be gone, but the bliss of eternal life is forever.
Since the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter we have been offering special prayers for the Holy Father after Masses. These prayers are on the prayer cards that have been placed near the Bulletins. Please take these home and bring them back with you to Mass, so that we can pray them together. The lines with a ‘V.’ are for the Priest to recite, and everyone responds with the lines which include an ‘R.’ These are verses and responses. Please be sure to pray for the Pope each day, as he carries out the daunting task of being the Universal Shepherd of the world’s billion Catholics.
Also, please turn in your reservations and deposits into the Parish Office for the Pilgrimage to Italy, In the Footsteps of St. Philip Neri, soon. The first round of reservations will close at the end of April. Space is limited; so, depending on how many first round deposits and reservations we get, will determine whether we will have a second round push later in the spring. This will be a good Pilgrimage
, which we won’t repeat for years to come!
Finally, please find the Holy Week schedule on the subsequent pages. Try to add these to your schedule now, to enter intimately and fully into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord. Try also help with the Church cleaning and decorating, as you have time. Much goes into preparing the Church for Easter and any additional help is always welcomed and appreciated. This is a grace-filled time of year. Please do not let it pass you by. Have a blessed week ahead!