I am continuing to write a message in the absence of Father Kuzma who will be returning home to Canada on April 3rd. Fr. Francis, the staff and I are looking forward to working with him and hope that he will be happy to be back. May Our Lord, Our Lady and the saints help us all acquire Lenten graces.
On Passion (Palm) Sunday Year A, the Church focuses on recalling the most sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ described in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. The Lord’s Passion is also read from Saint John’s Gospel on Good Friday. Holy Week is the most sacred time of the liturgical year when Christians are called to reflect upon their sinfulness in the light of the perfect Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, out of love for us sinners, to obtain forgiveness for our multitude of sins so that those who believe in Him, repent and obey his will may be saved from hell and be granted eternal life.
To deepen our appreciation for the Lord’s Passion, death and Resurrection, we can meditate upon many wonderful readings from Saints and mystics. Versions of the Stations of the Cross have inspired believers for centuries. I found the movie The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson, very moving, at times quite upsetting, but very good at shaking indifference towards our Lord’s suffering and death. The profound scientific findings about the Shroud of Turin strongly affirm its authenticity as the cloth that wrapped the fully scourged body of our crucified Lord. Even the stains on the Shroud reveal that the body inside of it was never removed, as one removes a blanket, but it miraculously disappeared, pointing to the Resurrection.
Since the Lord Passion, death and Resurrection is the most important event in history, may we try to imitate his love and courage in times of adversity. The love of Jesus was made perfect through suffering for us; we also need to be tested to become more like Him. Please read this carefully:
“Your humility is tested by the proud, your faith is tried by the unjust, your compassion by the cruel, and your gentleness and kindness by the wrathful. The source of humility is the soul’s true knowledge of ... self and of my goodness.” – God the Father to Saint Catherine of Sienna.
May God bless you always and Our Lady, Saint Joseph and the Saints and Angels help you have a most Holy Week leading to the great Easter Season.
Fr. Luc (Retired Priest)