As we prepare to celebrate the holiest days of the year, it is good to step back to ponder the prayers, gestures, and actions throughout the Sacred Paschal Triduum. By doing this, we may enter more prayerfully into our preparations for the liturgy of the Triduum.
Fr. Michael S. Driscoll leads us in a meditation on the Eucharist with his article "The Holy Thursday Liturgy: Our Prayer Leads to Living Out Justice." Driscoll notes that
the washing of feet, the emphasis on gathering for the Eucharist, and the procession for the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament indicate that our lives are to be spent serving others. He writes
that we are to put into action what we celebrate. "Our prayer must be translated into the way we live."
The article "Love Flowing from the Eucharist Motivates Sacrificial Giving," by Fr. Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, continues in that vein to help us realize that the Eucharist calls us to connect to the most vulnerable. Raab's reflection on the antiphon "Where charity is dwelling, God is present there" recalls the procession of families with children offering the money collected in rice bowls during Lent. As the cardboard boxes are broken open and coins drop into a basket, Raab says that families are "coming to terms with how faith becomes action well beyond their kitchen tables."
"Holy Week Draws Christians Closer to Life in Christ," the downloadable article by Kathryn Ball-Boruff, will help adults explain the movements that occur during the Triduum. With thi article, mentors in the faith can guide children to be open to encountering Christ in the liturgy. Directors of religious education will want to provide this article to parents.
The faithful who gather each year to sing "hosanna" while carrying palms on Palm Sunday will welcome the information on the processions provided in the bulletin insert "A Journey to New Life in Christ," by Kathy Kuczka. She writes, "These processions help us to journey with Christ into solitude and surrender, into desertion and death, resurrection, and new life."
The "Initiation" article "Respecting the Faith Journey of the Baptized and Unbaptized," by Sr. Sharon Stola, OSB, helps parishes consider the distinctions between people who are already members of the Body of Christ and those who have not yet been "enlighten by Christ." Parish staff will want to discuss this article as well as the article on how the Rite of Christian Initation of Adults is adapted for children. The National Gathering on Christian Initation™ will focus on that theme on July 2 and 3 at the conference on the Loyola University Chicago campus.
In the article "Honoring the Word of God," Fr. Randall R. Phillips helps parishes explore how to heed Pope Francis' request to pay special attention to Scripture on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Finally, we look forward to the new translation of the rite for Baptism, The Order of Baptism of Children. This translation may be used as of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and is obligatory beggining Easter Sunday.
May your days be blessed.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
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