Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: April 15, 2019

It is almost here! Passion Week, Holy Week! This past Sunday we gathered for Palm Sunday and now we will launch into a week of remembering and growth as Christians! To do so, we must make it our every intention to attend services, reflect, and honor the fact that those very same people who passionately welcomed Christ with waving palm branches, were many of the very same people who demanded His execution just days later…

This past Sunday we had a visit from our only Native American Franciscan Priest. Father Robert was a joy to visit with and fell in love immediately with the parish and all that we are and all that we do. His heart was open to hearing God through us in a new way and he was respectful and gentle. Contrast that with a few weeks ago when we had another clergy visitor who was so full of himself that he missed all we are, and the ways in which we listen intently to God to grow and attract others to our faith. Rather than ‘seeing’ who we are, his blindness made him full of contempt toward us and all he could do was pick us apart. It reminded me of how blessed we are with clergy who give generously, love everyone, celebrate others triumphs and share in one another’s sorrows and stumbling. We lift one another up, like Simon did for Jesus, because that is all we really are and leave this life with: ourselves, our character, tied to the manner in which we are cross-bearers for others.

This week’s three-day celebration (known as The Triduum) begins with the Holy Thursday Mass and continues on Good Friday with the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. At the end of this liturgy, we leave the church in silence, waiting to celebrate the glory of our Lord’s Resurrection. Then, on Saturday at sundown, it is finally here! The Church re-gathers to celebrate the final, and most grand moment: The Resurrection of our Lord!

Our Jewish brothers and sisters have been celebrating Passover remembering the events leading to their release from slavery in Egypt and we, too, will gather these three days from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday to celebrate ‘our Passover’ from death to life in Christ and from things that have little meaning to those things that are eternal! It is a time of remembering the triumph of God’s love over darkness and death. It can change our hearts deeply, but only if we allow it.

In the coming week, we gather to celebrate that God is present and always working in our lives. May we each experience the joy of new life in our own way this Easter Season, and may we begin with an intentional dedication to observing the Passion of the One Who loves us still…

Reflection questions for Holy Week:

What does the death of Jesus mean to me?
 How has God interceded in my life?Have I honored God in my life? Will I take a few hours out of my week and honor Christ? After hearing the Resurrection story, what events do I see in my own life that are in need of resurrection?
 How can I carry on the story of the resurrection to others this coming year? How might I fail if all I ever do is focus on me?
 

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