Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
We are inching closer and closer to Holy Week, the conclusion of our Lenten observance, and the great feast of Easter. Easter is the day of our redemption and salvation, a day of great rejoicing. However, before we arrive at the bliss of Easter, we still have two weeks left in Lent and the horror of Holy Week still awaits us. The Church calls this to mind today by veiling the statues, removing the final vestiges of joy from our senses as the world awaits the suffering, passion, & death of its Savior. The Lord is now hidden from us, throughout the rest of Lent may we do well to remain faithful to Him in our Lenten observance, in the overcoming of vice and growth in virtue, and our participation in the Holy Week rites and services. I particularly encourage everyone to partake in the rites of Holy Week and to make it to the Sacrament of Penance before Easter.
These final two weeks of Lent are often a small image of our own lives. At times it seems as though the Lord has abandoned us & His Church. The struggle to give up our vices and to grow in virtue at times seems impossible. However, just as Easter Sunday gets us through these final weeks of our Lenten fasts & penances, so too should our looking forward to eternal life in Heaven get us through the difficulties we face in this life. It is for this reason that Our Lord suffered and died for us so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.
Our Lord did not promise this goodness in this life but does promise us this goodness in the life to come. We must constantly remind ourselves of the price that Christ paid for our sins so that we might have life. We must continually remind ourselves of Heaven. These, at times, may seem abstract or distant, but we can take solace in the knowledge that Heaven is very real and very near. May we not allow this precious gift to slip between our fingers by not striving for sanctity in this life. Sometimes this requires us to make hard decisions and to sacrifice. However, as we meditate upon the sacrifice of Christ, may we realize that we will never be asked to doing something as difficult as Christ. He has prepared the way for us and has opened to us the gates of Eternal Life.
Just another update on the status of the Catholic Ministries Appeal. As of March 13, Old St. Mary’s has pledged $8,345.00 out of a $17,154.00 goal with about 14% of the parish participating. Sacred Heart has pledged $5,575.00 out of a $7,962.00 goal with about 12% of the parish participating. Thank you for your generosity! To donate, please remember you can visit www.catholicappeal.info. If you mail in your donation, remember that the code for Old St. Mary’s is 1841 and the code for Sacred Heart is 721.
Have a blessed week ahead!