Well, here we are, at the beginning of Holy Week. Perhaps you thought Lent would never end. As for me, it seemed to zip by in the twinkling of an eye. How can it be Palm Sunday already? Well, ready or not, here we go. We enter into the holiest week of the year. It is also one of the most dramatic weeks, at least liturgically. I hope that you will take advantage of the good music and liturgy that we offer here at St Austin, and join us for the celebrations of the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening and of course, Easter Sunday. It is a lot, but it is all wonderful.
By these celebrations (and they are celebrations, not lectures nor classes nor performances) we enter into the saving mysteries of the faith. In a sense we relive these saving events. Imaginatively and spiritually we are there. We learn them from the inside by experiencing them, and not just study them from the outside. We open ourselves to feel the excitement and exultation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem today. We see the washing of feet on Thursday and so are challenged to a deeper level of Christian service. We celebrate the founding of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the great gift of Jesus of His very flesh and blood for all of us. We witness the trial of Jesus before Pilate, the long road to Calvary, and the bitter heartbreak and disappointment of the Crucifixion. And then the unexpected gift of God in the Resurrection, amplified in the creation of new Christians by Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist on Holy Saturday night, and then the joyful celebration of God’s triumph over sin and death in the Resurrection of Jesus as we celebrate Easter. It is quite a ride and it is wonderful.
We celebrate these mysteries every year so that we can grow into them, going deeper and deeper into their mystery, letting their power conform and shape us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity not to be missed, so I hope you will join us.
I also want to invite you to join our parish community as we prepare an Easter basket for the Micah 6 Food Pantry, of which St. Austin is a founding member. Please bring with you to church between now and Easter some healthy, non-perishable food stuffs, like canned foods, and place them in the basket in front of the St. Joseph side altar. No candy or jelly-beans please!
See you in church!