Browsing Pastor's Notes

5th Sunday of Lent

Welcome to Passiontide!

Starting with the 5th Sunday of Lent through the Holy Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday of the Easter Vigil). During these last days of Lent, we are challenged to set aside the goods of this world more intentionally, so as to be more present to the Lord and the tremendous work He accomplished and is accomplishing in His perfect Sacrifice upon the Cross and Resurrection. One visual reminder of Passiontide is the call to fast even with our eyes from the reminders of God’s glory in our life by means of the Saving Cross and the saints. Only as we enter once again physically, spiritually, liturgically, and sacramentally into these Mysteries during the Triduum will we once again See with the eyes of Faith the Saving Work of God anew.

I would invite you to join with me in praying specifically for Bruce Cunningham, Lindsey Dixon, Lukas Schuler, and Matthew Zicher. These four persons will be receiving the Sacraments of Initiation and Full Communion in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. They are wonderful folks, and our parish and the Church is greatly blessed by the work the Holy Spirit is doing in them to bring them into Full Communion. Consider showing your support (even if you don’t know them personally) by joining us at the Easter Vigil. It’s the most beautiful Liturgy of the Year and will bring you closer to the Risen Lord.

Speaking of Liturgy near Easter. Did you know that the Holy Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday of the Easter Vigil – is really just one 3-day Liturgy? Really. I’m not making it up. This is why at the end of Holy Thursday there is no blessing with the Sign of the Cross or Sending Forth (“Go in peace…”). It is why Good Friday starts in silence with no greeting or Sign of the Cross, and concludes in the same way. It’s why at the Easter Vigil starts with a blessing of the fire but not an invocation of the Sign of the Cross over the priest and people. Jesus’ Saving work was not just upon the Cross. His Paschal Mystery is one action of suffering, death, and resurrection. The Last Supper is not separate from the Cross or Easter Morning, any more than consummating a marriage in the flesh is separate from saying “I Do”. All must be present. The words give meaning to the action, and the action apart from the words would be empty or confusing. Consider making plans now to be present for the whole Triduum.

Looking forward to Post-Easter Sunday, some of you may be interested in the Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday. “An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose culpable element has already been taken away [in Confession]. The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observes the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively distributes and applies the treasury of the expiatory works of Christ and the saints.” Essentially, an “indulgence” is something offered to the faithful by the Church, as the keeper of the Keys of the Kingdom, with authority to “bind and loose” (see Mt 16:17-19). St. John Paul II not only declared Divine Mercy Sunday a universal feast of the Church; but in 2002, he attached a plenary indulgence to it. Requirements for the indulgence are:

  • Participate worthily in Sacramental Confession
  • Receive the Eucharistic on Divine Mercy Sunday (Saturday Vigil suffices)
  • Offer Prayers for the intentions of Pope Francis
    (typically, at least, an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and recitation of the Creed)
  • Specifically, for the Divine Mercy Indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday (24 April 2022)
    • In any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for sin, even venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy
    • In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).”

Holy Family, Mediating Mercy, Pray for us.

~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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