I remember one of my favorite movies as a child was entitled, “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” I think that my call to priesthood came to me when I watched it as a boy. This is the greatest story ever told: that Christ could accept the ultimately unacceptable out of love for us and how love conquers the most grotesque forms of human rejection, hate, injustice and violence.
On Monday Fr. Chris and I will attend the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral, where the holy oils will be blessed and we celebrate the gift of the priesthood and renew our priestly promises. Given all that the Church has been through this year, it is good for us priests to be reminded that our priesthood is a gift, based on Christ’s priesthood of service and self-offering. Like him, we are called to carry the cross as priests, and as the Holy Cross Constitutions remind us, “If we drink the cup each of us is poured and given, we servants will fare no better than our master.”
On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the washing of the feet. If we only could see what angels and saints see, every time we gather around the table of the Lord’s word and his body and blood. No wonder our Orthodox brothers and sisters talk about the Mass as the Divine Liturgy and how it divinizes us and makes us into another Christ.
Holy Thursday makes explicit the direct connection between the Eucharist and being sent forth to serve others, especially the poor. This year we hope to wash the feet of some of the poor that we serve through St. Vincent de Paul and Kenton Women’s Village.
I love that the Church refers to the Easter Vigil as the “Mother of All Liturgies.” We rejoice that love triumphs in the end in Christ. We bless the Paschal fire and share with each other the light of Christ, longing to be enlightened by Christ and having our hearts set ablaze with renewed love.
At our Easter Vigil, the following young people will be baptized, confirmed and make their First Communion: Yatziri Aguilar-Fuentes, Oscar Aguilar-Fuentes, Angie Interian-Solis, Daniel Juarez Mendoza, Laiylah Juarez Mendoza, Benati Louvouezo, Jorge Montejano Gonzalez, Dominator Nyguen and Alfonso Revuelta. Kindly keep them in prayer as they prepare for this powerful moment of grace in their lives.
It seems fitting to end my column with the final words found in our Bible: “The one who gives this testimony says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen! Come Lord, Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.”
Yours in Christ,