Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

March 27th/28th Bulletin Article

Dear Friends,
Beginning today, we enter into Holy Week. Using sports
analogies, it is the Super Bowl
in the Church; it is the March Madness of the liturgical
year. It goes without saying, but this is
the holiest, the most solemn, most sacred time of
the year. It is for this week, particularly the
Triduum and Easter, that we have been preparing in
Lent. It is in this week that we celebrate the
Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the mysteries of our salvation: our
being saved, healed, and reconciled. This week is
holy, meaning set apart, for it is indeed
different from the rest of the year.
We begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday. Many may tend
to focus primarily on the
blessed palms we receive, remembering our Lord's entry
into Jerusalem, the crowds crying out
and acclaiming Him as Messiah. It's on Palm Sunday
we read two gospel passages: Jesus' entry
into Jerusalem at the very beginning of Mass and the
Passion of Jesus at the usual time for the
gospel reading. It's symbolic of our own lives in
which we at one moment acclaim Jesus as king
and then the next moment cry out for Him to be crucified.
Wednesday of Holy Week is sometimes referred to as
Spy Wednesday. The reason for this
is that the gospel reading at Mass provides the detail
of Judas “spying” on Jesus: Judas goes to
the chief priests, asking how much they would be willing
to give him in order to hand over Jesus.
We know the answer: 30 pieces of silver.
Holy Thursday is also known as Maundy Thursday. Maundy
is related to the Latin word
mandatum. On this Thursday, Jesus gives the Twelve
specifically a mandate (mandatum) to do
what He has done at the Last Supper: celebrate the
Eucharist and live a life of self-giving service
and charity. Jesus has given the Twelve the
to be His priests. These are the three
things celebrated now at Holy Thursday: the institution
of the Eucharist, the institution of the
priesthood, and the example of charity, typically
evidenced by the washing of feet. Because of
these items, Holy Thursday is the day prescribed for
the celebration of the Chrism Mass, when
priests publicly renew their priestly promises and
the holy oils are blessed. In our diocese,
because of the travel required for many priests—including
this one—to the magnificent Rosary
Cathedral in Toledo, we celebrate the Chrism Mass
on Tuesday of Holy Week. It is a tremendous
Mass, with the faithful from all over the diocese,
but due to Covid, sadly, it is not open to the
public this year.
Good Friday is a somber day. We recall our Savior's
Passion and Death. It is a day not
only of abstinence from meat, but it is also a day
of fasting. Holy Saturday continues with a
somber theme, for we recognize that Jesus has been
buried and remains in the tomb. Only once
the sun has set—for the religion of the Israelites,
this marks the beginning of a new day—do we
begin the Easter Vigil. It is meant to be a vigil,
in theory carrying us into the morning to greet the
rising sun and Risen Lord. The Easter Vigil Mass engages
our senses like no other Mass:
blessing a fire, being a completely dark church, aside
from a candle or two, the smell of lilies and
tulips, bells ringing throughout the entire Gloria.
We bring people to the font of new birth in
baptism and bring other non-Catholics into full communion
with the Catholic Church.
This, along with Easter Sunday, is the culmination
of Holy Week. It is worth mentioning
that Easter is not merely one day. The Octave of Easter
reminds us that so great a celebration
cannot be contained and celebrated only in one day,
so Easter as a specific feast is an 8 day long
We are saints under construction, living out the
dying and rising of Jesus Christ in our lives and
our bodies. Have a great week! God bless you!
In Christ,
Fr. Matt


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