Sunday, March 21st 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
As we are nearing the end of our Lenten journey, our readings on the 5
Sunday of Lent reminds us of the goodness that our God has to offer us.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus announces that the “hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” All that He came to do on this earth was soon to be fulfilled. When we reflect on what Jesus says in this passage, He tells us a great deal about how we should be living as disciples of Christ. He clearly states, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
We are called to detach from our own desires and entrust our lives to all that God has in store for us. Without self-denial, we might miss occasions God has given us to produce good fruit. We have been practicing this throughout our Lenten season through fasting. One way to continue this effort after Lent is by taking advantage of the countless opportunities God presents to us to sacrifice our desires for something much greater — whether waking earlier to spend time in prayer, fasting from a favorite comfort on a weekly basis or taking the time to check in on a friend or family member instead of turning on the TV, just as a suggestion. It is important that we continue to make room for God and the good things He wants to produce in us all year long.
Next weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday, recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where the people laid their palms and branches on the path where Jesus, riding on the back of a donkey or colt, entered the city. They people cried out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest.”
At 3:00 PM on Saturday, March 27
we will gather in front of Nevin Hall, read the Gospel passage about the first Palm Sunday, and we will then process through the neighborhood holding our blessed palms in the spirit of the first Palm Sunday. We will arrive back at 4:30 PM, process into the Church, and then celebrate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Lent, we were unable to have our customary Lenten Penance Service – due to COVID-19 – where we collected a dozen priests for a night of confessions in preparation for Easter Sunday. On Monday, March 29
we will have individual confessions after the 8:30 AM Mass at 9:00 AM. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, we will have confessions at 7:30 PM after the evening Spanish Mass. There will be no scheduled sacramental confessions from Wednesday evening until after Easter Sunday.
As our Lenten journey soon concludes, we are invited to consider the ways in which we can continue to practice self-denial by offering small, daily sacrifices to the Lord.