This Fifth Week of Lent we continue to “Walk On Holy Ground.”
The Gospel passage from John this weekend tells once again the familiar account of the woman caught in adultery. Accusers bring her before Jesus and are not only out to condemn and kill her but their evilness also wants to catch Jesus in a trap.
Their questions about what the “law” says will fail to trap Jesus and confront His being the one to “fulfill the Law.”
In response to their questions, He stoops down and writes with His finger on the ground (Holy Ground). The accusers press on and so He rises. Jesus says whoever is without sin be the first to throw a stone/rock.
Caught in their own trap they drift away one by one leaving the poor woman alone with the Lord. He stands up before her and asks, “Where have they gone? Has anyone condemned you?” She replies, “No one.”
Jesus tells her neither does He but go and sin no more. Go and sin no more.
Next week we will begin entering another “Holy Ground.” It will be our Holy Week. It is a week where we have the opportunity, if we are willing to take it, to walk with Jesus towards Jerusalem.
Palm Sunday tears at our emotions with jubilant entering into Jerusalem and concludes leaving us in grief and sorrow with the execution of Jesus. Hopefully, we will have the courage and humility to walk with Him throughout the whole week.
Back to the woman caught in adultery, what about us? Have you ever been caught in sin? Have you ever exposed another in their sin? Have we wanted to see him/her humiliated, punished and put out publicly? Have we, perhaps, accused ourselves of sin and not addressed it in a healthy way that heals our spirit with forgiveness?
Monday of Holy Week, you and I have an opportunity to experience the same mercy and forgiveness as the woman in the Gospel. There will be a penance service at 7 PM at Saint Catherine of Siena. There will be seven priests (Fathers Bausch, Bradshaw, Clifford, Cool, Mannara, Palumbos and myself) who will be available for individual reconciliation. It is a time, a sacred time for us to experience the Lord’s love, mercy and peace. We too, in humility, can face our failings and hear the Lord say if we have ears to hear and hearts to receive, “Go and sin no more.” Hopefully, we are up to being honest and will embrace this sacrament of forgiveness. Come for the service. Come and if after the service you feel the Lord calling you to the Sacrament of Reconciliation know that seven fine priests are there for you!
Tuesday of Holy Week, the Chrism Mass will be at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 6 PM. This liturgy blesses our oils that will be used in the coming year for all our sacraments.
Holy Thursday at 7 PM at Saint Catherine of Siena the Mass of the Holy Supper will take place. It is one of my most favorite liturgies. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow mass until 10 PM. Adoration will also take place at the Church of the Transfiguration until 10:30 PM.
On Good Friday, both of our parishes will celebrate the Passion of the Lord. Transfiguration's service is at 2:30 PM and Saint Catherine’s is at 3 PM. This same evening “Simple Stations” will take place at 7 PM at Transfiguration.
The Easter Vigil begins at 8 PM at the Church of the Transfiguration. Another one of my favorite liturgies. This mass brings together everything we believe and live in a most beautiful Easter celebration. If you have never attended an Easter Vigil before, come and see a most prayerful experience!
Easter Sunday, both parishes will have two masses at 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM. Four masses on this day offers many blessings for your attendance.
Also, during our Holy Week there will be “Shadow Stations of the Cross” at Saint Catherine of Siena. Check this bulletin for the times.
So, our journey on Holy Ground has moved quickly and will continue to move quickly to Easter. I pray you will join our Parish Staff and me for these beautiful and sacred times of prayer and worship.
With prayer ongoing for Ukraine , peace in all our communities and for you,
April 3, 2022