Sunday April 4th, 2020
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year A
Dear Pastorate Family,
This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday and enter Holy Week. And it’s a Holy Week unlike any we’ve ever faced before. We’re still not able to gather publicly for Mass, which means there will be NO MASSES FOR EASTER SUNDAY. I’m hardly able to believe it. But we’re in a pandemic, and we need to adjust. Since we can’t attend the public celebrations of Holy Week, we’re invited to spiritually unite ourselves to the story of Jesus and what He endured out of love for us. What can we do during Holy Week? I recommend reading the daily Gospel during this week (visit www.usccb.org for readings) and notice how events play out. Prayerfully place yourself in these Gospel scenes and notice what you see, think, and feel while you’re “in” the scene. Having prayerfully placed ourselves within the story, what we see, think, and feel while we’re “in” the Gospel scene can be the “stuff” we take to God in prayer during Holy Week.
Also this week, watch our livestream Masses – daily Masses Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 a.m., Holy Thursday at 7 p.m., Good Friday at 3 p.m., Easter Vigil at 8 p.m. and Easter Sunday at 10 a.m. If you’re already on Facebook, please “like” the Pastorate Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lasallepastorate. Though I’ve been livestreaming daily and Sunday Masses from my personal Facebook profile (www.facebook.com/noahjdiehm), we’ll use the Facebook page for some of these livestream Masses, particularly for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday, so please check the pastorate website (www.lasallepastorate.com) and the pastorate Facebook page and my own Facebook profile for updates as plans continue to change and evolve. Nonetheless, the goal during Holy Week is to spiritually unite ourselves to Jesus so as to be united with Him in His death and resurrection, so that Easter Sunday is about our resurrection, too. As we enter Holy Week, may we journey with Jesus to the Cross and to new life after death!
A Virtual Walk through Holy Week
Monday of Holy Week – read: John 12:1-11. Notice the contrast between the actions of Mary and the objection of Judas Iscariot. What are their respective intentions? How might we unite ourselves to the example of Mary in doing something good for the Lord? And how do Jesus’ words in response to Judas’ objection instruct us?
Tuesday of Holy Week – read: John 13:21-33, 36-38. Jesus is deeply troubled as He announces that one of His disciples will betray Him. A diabolical detail enters the story: Satan enters Judas. Judas begins his plans to betray Jesus. Peter wants to be firm in His conviction to follow Jesus, but Jesus gives him the devastating news that he will deny Jesus not just once, but three times. What’s going on with Judas? What’s going on with Peter? If you were sitting with the rest of the disciples, what’s going through your mind?
Wednesday of Holy Week – read: Matthew 26:14-25. Jesus again announces His betrayal. All of the disciples say, “Surely it is not I, LORD?” And Judas alone says, “Surely it is not I, RABBI?” Who is Jesus to us? Is He the LORD? Or is He simply a RABBI, a teacher, but not the Anointed One of God?
Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday) – read: John 13:1-15. This passage is the famous washing of the disciples’ feet. From the reading, we know: “He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” Jesus then prepares to give His disciples an expression of love and service by washing their feet, a task so lowly that not even slaves could be asked to do so in Jesus’ time. But Jesus does so to give them a model to follow. How am I called to serve?
Friday of Holy Week (Good Friday) – read: John 18:1—19:42. What about Jesus’ passion most speaks to you? Prayerfully, imagine yourself joining Mary and John as they behold Jesus from the foot of the cross. What stirs in your heart as you immerse yourself in the story? How is love, compassion, or sorrow for sin stirred in your heart?