Browsing Pastor's Notes

Pentecost Sunday

In advance of the National Eucharistic Congress this July, I’m continuing to look at some of the Scriptural precursors of the Eucharist. There are so many that show God’s Plan from the beginning included the Eucharist.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month will stand at the head of your calendar; you will reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every family must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a household is too small for a lamb, it along with its nearest neighbor will procure one, and apportion the lamb’s cost in proportion to the number of persons, according to what each household consumes. Your lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You will keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole community of Israel assembled, it will be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They will take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They will consume its meat that same night, eating it roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or even boiled in water, but roasted, with its head and shanks and inner organs. You must not keep any of it beyond the morning; whatever is left over in the morning must be burned up. This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you will eat it in a hurry. It is the LORD’s Passover. (Exodus 12:1-11)

The Exodus Passover has numerous Eucharistic connections. First, this Passover Sacrifice is of such importance that the whole Jewish calendar was refigured to put the Remembrance Feast at the ‘head of the calendar.’ Like the Sabbath rest extolled in the Genesis creation account and later codified in the Ten Commandments, true worship, prayer, and sacrifice to God are placed central in the lives of God’s People. They are to orient their whole life around Worship and Prayer, rather than simply fit God into their life when there’s time. The annual life of the Chosen People leads toward the Passover Feast and then once saved & sanctified by it, go forth into the new year of life and love for God. Passover, like its fulfillment in the Eucharist, becomes the central focus & orientation of the people. The Jewish people look forward with joy and eagerness as Passover approaches to re-living God’s direct intervention and salvation in their lives. Just so, are we to look forward to re-celebrating Christ’ saving Sacrifice where His direct intervention for our salvation is re-presented in each Mass, but especially our Sunday celebration. For the Mass is not simply recalling – it is sacramental reliving of Calvary, of His suffering, death, and resurrection. It is the source and summit. It is the central focus. It is what we are invited to & expected to make the head of our calendar, schedules, routines.

The Passover Lamb is sacrificed and shared as a family. Not just one’s ‘nuclear family’ but one’s Divine family as Christians. The Passover Lamb reminds us of the deep truth that pleasing & sanctifying worship of God is communal, not merely personal. We need to do this together. Our family in this sense is the parish. Jesus gathered in the Upper Room in the new Family to celebrate the Last Supper & Passover Feast. Those who came to the meal were part of the family and destined – in the sense of the Apostles – to be head of the family of God – to play the fatherly role foreshadowed in the Passover sacrifice. (A side point would be the fact that if/when a parish is too small, it should, scripturally speaking, unite with a nearby parish to celebrate. We don’t multiply Masses unnecessarily or for convenience. We come together so that all may share in ‘proportion to their number’.)


We will gather in the school Gym while work is completed in the church. Please use the east entrance by the playground or the preschool entrance off the back lot.

I realize Mass in a gym is not ideal but I would encourage you to keep coming to Mass, and Mass at Holy Family so we can maintain our family connections during this needed and necessary work.


Celebrating 70 years in our church together as the Holy Family of God.

+ Nothing less than saints for the Holy Family of God. +

Holy Family, Gathered around the Lamb of God, Pray for us.

~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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