Tag Archives: Holy Week

Holy Week for Marriage

6 Apr

Praise, temptation to despair, indignant questioning from one who does not understand His mission, rejection, and eventually death . . .

While all of these descriptions certainly apply to Our Lord’s experience during Holy Week, they also apply to the lived experience of every married couple.

St. John Paul II said, “Married couples are a permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross.” Jesus called Himself the Bridegroom, and His Bride was the Church, so we can imitate Christ in our marriages when we:

  • Accept praise from others with humility and thanksgiving to God.
  • Allow grace to strengthen our hope when we are tempted to despair over financial situations or the choices our children make.
  • Choose to courageously witness to the beauty of marriage even though friends or extended family may not understand our vocation.
  • Forgive generously when we are hurt.
  • Lay down our lives, in ways big and small, for our spouse.

For other ways to joyfully witness your marriage, go to www.JoyfulMarriageProject.com

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

 

“What are you waiting for, Jesus?”

28 Mar

Crosses for married couples come in all different shapes and sizes. Whether in the form of death, illness, financial troubles or conflict, the “bad times” can really test our resolve!

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus waited two days before setting out to help His dying friend Lazarus, and the delay resulted in His friend’s death. In our suffering, we can often feel like Jesus is taking forever to help, and we fear He may come too late.

We can keep two important things in mind in these situations. First, “Jesus wept” over His friend’s death, and therefore we know that He suffers with us. Second, He allowed Lazarus to die in order to bring about a greater good.

As we approach Holy Week, let’s offer our pain to our merciful Savior, trusting in His wisdom and confident that the trial we bear will produce great fruit!

For help in finding joy in the midst of trial, go to www.JoyfulMarriageProject.com

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

I’m Waiting for You

15 Mar

aaa“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Lk. 22:15). Jesus, fully human and fully God, has an eternal perspective, so think about the thousands of years God had been waiting to reveal the fullness of His love through the first Eucharist. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us of the preparation on a human level that went into that first Eucharist, but think of the centuries of preparation that went into it from a divine perspective. Jesus desired that moment because it was the moment in which He could invite His disciples to share in His very life and love in the most intimate of ways.

That same eager desire Jesus had for sharing His life and love with the first disciples is the same eager desire He has to share His life and love with our family. Jesus has been planning to share the Eucharistic meal for centuries with us and our children, and it is the place where we can be most reassured of His presence and protection. The Eucharist is where our desire for God meets His desire for us, and it is the most important lesson we can pass along to our children.

As we enter into Holy Week this Palm Sunday, let us seize the opportunities to teach our children about the desire God has to meet with us through the Mass. If we are able, let’s take an extra 15 minutes to stop by the adoration chapel before or after work, to bring our children there, or even to attend the great liturgical celebrations of this Holy Week. Jesus is waiting to encounter us!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Sheep and Goats

2 Apr

In the past I’ve spilled perhaps an inordinate amount of ink on the Holy Thursday foot-washing rite, which surely has been the cause of some controversy in recent years. At the same time, though, the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper has never ceased to be one of my favorite liturgies of the year, and my family is eagerly looking forward to tonight’s celebration, grateful that there is no conflict with “March madness” or youth sports!

One aspect of this beautiful liturgy that always captures my attention is the first reading, from chapter 12 of Exodus, in which the Lord gives the instructions for the Passover to Moses and Aaron. I tend to zero in on the part about the lamb being taken from either the sheep or the goats. The Lord isn’t particular on this point–the blood of either a sheep or a goat on the doorposts and lintel of the house will save the family’s firstborn from death.

In other contexts, there is a huge difference between sheep and goats. The example that immediately comes to mind is Matthew 25, where Our Lord says that at the judgment He will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep obviously are those in a state of grace, those who are being saved, while the goats are those who are destined for eternal fire.

I don’t want to make too much of that, because these are two distinct passages with their own distinct messages. But on the night in which we celebrate and praise God for the gift of the New Covenant priesthood, we are reminded that ”in the old days” the Lord made use of both sheep and goats in the rite that prefigured the Mass. I find that to be a reminder of the efficacy of God’s salvific economy irrespective of the holiness or sinfulness of His ministers. When the New Covenant “instructions” are followed, Our Lord is true to His promises, and He becomes the living bread from heaven bearing everlasting life. What an awesome reality!

At the same time, whether we are sheep or goats does have eternal ramifications. And isn’t that what the Last Supper, and more specifically, the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, is all about?  The Good Shepherd, through the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, gives us the means to be recognized as His sheep, enabling us in turn to recognize and serve Him in the least of our brethren (cf. Mt. 25:31-46) and so come to enjoy the fullness of life with Him.

What Happened on Holy Saturday?

19 Apr

Our Lord’s descent into hell, under whose aegis Holy Saturday stands liturgically in the Church’s year, is an article of faith that is of particular significance to modern man. On Good Friday we contemplated Christ on the Cross, and beginning on Easter Sunday we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

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Holy Week Festivities

14 Apr

Yesterday was Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, or more simply “Palm Sunday.” Thus began the period of time known as “Holy Week,” which culminates this Sunday with the celebration of Easter. In between these two Sundays, however, the Church invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s suffering and death through various devotions and liturgical practices.

One major event during Holy Week is the Chrism Mass, where the bishop blesses the oils that will be used throughout the coming year. While it’s traditionally celebrated on Thursday, there is some flexibility when it comes to the date, and most dioceses hold the Chrism Mass in the cathedral on the Monday or Tuesday of Holy Week. Archbishop Naumann will celebrate the Chrism Mass for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas on Tuesday, April 15th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Savior Pastoral Center chapel.

The chrism and the oil of catechumens blessed at the Chrism Mass will then be used in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Wednesday is known as Spy Wednesday because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priests to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces (Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10-11; Lk. 22:1-6).

On Thursday evening, known as Holy Thursday, the Church celebrates the anniversary of the Last Supper, when Christ instituted the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacrament of the priesthood. It’s also known as Maundy Thursday, because at the Last Supper Christ instituted the new commandment (Latin, mandatum) to love one another (cf. Jn. 13:34). The call to serve others in imitation of Christ is brought out in the foot-washing ritual during Mass.

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Holy Week 2013

25 Mar

Holy WeekAs we begin our observance of Holy Week, I thought I would offer our readers a selection of seasonal archived articles and posts I have composed in recent years:

Holy Week Festivities

Merry Chrism Mass! This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:00 a.m. at Savior Pastoral Center.

Choosing the Twelve, Again

Sheep and Goats

To Whom Shall We Go?

Meditation for Good Friday

He Descended into Hell

He Is Alive!

In addition, the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides a helpful Q & A regarding the celebration of Holy Week liturgies. Be sure to consult your parish’s bulletin and/or website for the days and times of the special Holy Week and Easter services.

On behalf of everyone here at the chancery office of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, I want to wish and your loved ones a meaningful and blessed celebration of the mystery of God’s love for us as it unfolds in Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection!