Just a reminder that March is the month of Saint Joseph and that Mass will be offered on his day, Saturday, March 19th, at 10:00 A M at Saint James. The Mass will be preceded by the recitation of the Rosary starting at 9:30. With Easter arriving this year on the last Sunday of March, the 27th, the feast of the Annunciation to Our Lady, the 25th, will be transferred to Monday, April 4th, the first day following the octave celebration of the Paschal Feast, as the 25th of March this year happens to be Good Friday.
Recall that the Friday following Passion Sunday, this year March 18th, we celebrate traditionally as the feast of OUR LADY OF SORROWS, reminded as we are of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, Mother of Our Lord:
- The prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation
- The Flight into Egypt
- The search for Jesus in Jerusalem
- Mary meets Jesus on His way to Calvary
- Jesus dies on the Cross
- Mary receives the dead body of Jesus
- Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.
All provide food for meditation during these last days of Lent as we approach Passiontide, and give us some encouragement for further “biblical” reflection and study. Are you able to locate these biblical references? Why not try as such reflection on the life of Our Lady from the prophecy of Simeon to the death and burial of her Son can be for us a journey of faith and sorrow corresponding to the Seven Sorrows of the Mother of Our Lord.
Soon to arrive is Holy Week starting on Palm Sunday, March 20th, with the reading of the narrative of Our Lord’s Passion and Death on the Cross, a narrative repeated during the days of the week as each of the Gospels is read. It is the most solemn of weeks and its events given for our contemplation as we take our place with Mary, Jesus’ mother, and John, His beloved disciple, at the foot of the cross. It is only from that vantage that we will ever come with them, along with the faithful in every generation, to the joy of the Paschal Feast. I encourage your attendance, where possible, to be with the Christian community in our celebration of the Sacred Triduum: Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; and Easter Even.
If you are searching for reading material to use in meditation during Holy Week I would recommend, “Death on a Friday Afternoon” by Richard Neuhaus. It is one of the finest of writings for meditation on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. I have used it during the days of Holy Week for years, using one of the words from the cross each day, and have not tired of it. Fr. Neuhaus’ meditations are simply profound and deeply moving. I am sure paper back editions may be had from Amazon and if you move on this now, one ought be in your hands by the start of Holy Week.
I continue to remember you each by name in my prayers and Mass intentions and I ask of you the same especially in the coming days that together we may continue faithful in walking in the way of the Cross, finding it to be none other than the way of life and peace for us. Blessings.