PASSION (PALM) SUNDAY 13th APRIL 2014. CYCLE A.
And so we begin Holy Week and I hope that it will be truly a holy Week in your life. This week we will be listening each day in the Holy Mass and the Divine Office to the threatening clouds of hatred and ill-will which threaten to overcome the Saviour.
Forces of great evil were arraigned against the Holy One of God and they are now arraigned against his Holy Church. In the Western world of the democracies marriage is being reduced to a stump so that few even bother with it. The Divine Law is set aside for an experiment in which human genetic material will be reproduced and destroyed and where some babies will not even have a biological father but two persons called "parent" officially on the Birth Certificate. What a formal lie for the State to tell a child. Strange times we are living through. God is noting their activities and they will not pass from this world without true judgement. Christ will be vindicated as he was and is in the Resurrection and will not be mocked. He will not be mocked either as long as the Church has a Pope like Pope Francis. His witness to Christ, reminds many of their true origins and roots in the Christian Faith.
This week we will see our Lord enter the Holy City on the back of a young colt and with the people going wild with joy crying "Hosanna to the Son of David" - waving palm branches and throwing their cloaks on the ground for the Holy One to walk on. Other voices by Good Friday will be shouting with great hatred - "crucify him!" We will experience on Spy Wednesday the devil entering Judas's soul and his plotting with the authorities to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces and with a kiss as a sign so they would know in the Garden in the dark who they were to arrest.
We will follow Christ on Maundy Thursday Instituting the Priesthood and your clergy will renew their vows of service to the Bishop in the Mass of Chrism when the three Holy Oils will be consecrated by Bishop Brain for use in the whole diocese. The Oil of the catechumens used to anoint the breast of the person to be Baptised - Chrism Oil to anoint the head of the newly baptised and the newly Confirmed and the hands of a newly ordained priest (and head of a newly consecrated Bishop) and the Oil of the Sick for when we are very ill or dying. On Thursday night we will gather for the Commemoration of the First Mass - and the washing of the Feet and the Stripping of the Altars and the watching with Christ in His Agony before the Altar of Repose. On Good Friday at 3pm we will all gather to Kiss the feet of the Crucified and hear his Passion and make the Great Prayer of Intercession and receive Him in Holy Communion.
At sun down on Saturday - Holy Saturday the altar will appear glorious again and the Easter bells with peal and the announcing that Christ is Risen will be sung forth in the whole Church. The Easter bonfire will be lit and the Easter Candle and the Easter Baptismal Water will be blessed and we will renew Baptismal vows. New converts would be Baptised and Confirmed and make their First Communion if we had any this year.
So – do try to join in these Sacred Actions as much as you are able particularly the Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday at 3pm and Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil. Make time for prayer and reflection. Take the Easter leaflet and see the many times you can be helped to pray in the spirit of the holy season and so imbibe deeply at Christ's breast and be nourished in the depths of one's being.
Father Tom Connolly
HOLY COMMUNION CHILDREN WILL LEAD THE PALM PROCESION AT THE MAIN MASS TODAY ALONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES.
FOOT WASHING. OUR LORD WASHED THE APOSTLE'S FEET AND I AM SUPPOSED TO WASH YOURS IN IMITATION OF HIM WHO HUMBLED HIMSELF. SO I WANT VOLUNTEERS FOR THURSDAY NIGHT. One foot only !!! Water will be warm. Thursday night. 7.30 MASS of the Lord's Supper - the birthday of the Mass. That is when our Lord said for the first time "Do this in memoriam of me."
A THANK YOU in anticipation to all you folk who will be doing so much for the Easter ceremonies - Fraternas, the Readers, the Special Ministers and Servers, the flowers, the Cleaners and polishers, the Collectors and Counters, the bakers and the Depositors and to my fellow priests - what would I do without them? Father O'Brien will effectively be leaving us on Easter Monday- I weep...but what can we do?
Thank you to Mary Gallagher for enrolling the priests and people of the parish into Knock Shrine Association where we will share in the Prayer and Masses of the Shrine. Now we will be prayed for in three holy places. Lourdes Handicapped children and helpers promised from last week's Appeal for HCPT, and me for I am going to Rome for the Canonisation of Blessed John Paul II and Bl. John XXIII on Sunday after Easter.
Bidding Prayers Palm Sunday.
Let us adore Christ the Lord: when he entered the Holy City Jerusalem the crowds proclaimed him as Messiah and King. We turn to him in trust and hope. Reader: Hosanna to you Son of David, king of all the ages for you triumphed over sin and death. Give us the courage we need to follow in your Path of the Cross and Resurrection. Lord in your mercy.
You entered the Holy City to endure the Passion and enter into glory - lead your Church into the paschal feast of heaven. Lord in your mercy.
You made the Cross the tree of life: share your victory with the baptised and especially our children who will be making their Confirmation and First Holy Communion next term from our schools of St Kentigern and Divine Mercy. Lord in your mercy.
Lord, you came to save sinners: bring into your kingdom all who believe, hope and love you in your Divine Kingship. Watch over your flock in this Holiest of all the weeks of our year. Lord in your mercy.
Grant us the protection of your Mother, the comforter of the afflicted - help us to extend to others the consolation you have given us. Lord in your Mercy.
Lord you entered into our suffering, grant to your servants who are sick a share in your consoling grace and we pray for Denis McLoughlin, BeeAnne O'Grady, Brenda Brady, Marie Hopkins, John Lawson, Mary Fitzpatrick, Kirsty Rafferty , Frances Howarth. Lord in your mercy.
Share with the dead your bodily glory: lets us one day rejoice with them in the Communion of all the Saints and we pray for Ester White AND all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Tom Connolly, Noel Bohan (11am), Afram Zaer, Eileen Brady (VIGIL).
Mary stood by her Son in his Passion, she never forgot Holy Simeon's Prophesy about her son being destined to be rejected - we turn to her - O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary.
Priest: Give us your grace O Lord to enter into this Holy Week with great resolve to submit to your reign, to confess our sins and to rejoice in the resurrection. Hear and answer our prayer. Through Christ Lord. Amen.