Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not;
See, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Is. 43:18-19)
This Fifth Sunday of Lent we do begin something new: daylight savings time comes. While we feel the loss of one hour this weekend, we are awakened much earlier by the rising of the sun and the chanting of the birds, especially the robins. Next Sunday, March 20 is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the beginning of Holy Week, when we focus on Jesus’ Messianic entrance into Jerusalem leading to the Easter Triduum. March 20 is also the first day of spring.
The focus of today’s readings is on the marvelous deeds of the Lord as captured in Psalm 126. God is about the business of doing something new in our lives, especially through this Lenten season with its focus on God’s mercy and our practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. God promised the Israelites living in exile in Babylon a way back home in a manner more glorious than the Exodus event. St. Paul, who was coming to the end of his life and writing from prison, reminded the Philippians that sharing in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus was the most important thing in life. Jesus gave the woman caught in adultery an opportunity to start all over again as he said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more” (Jn. 8:11).
It’s not too early to start planning for Holy Week and the coming feast of Easter. Fr. Tim and I invite you to attend the Easter Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord, which starts on Holy Thursday eve, March 24 and runs through Easter on Sunday, March 27. These are the most important days of the liturgical calendar where we celebrate the marvels of God’s love in Jesus. The final opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation are on Saturday, March 19 at most parishes and at Old St. Mary Parish on Monday, March 21 and Tuesday, March 22 at 11:30 am.
Finally, this coming Saturday, March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer. It is also the third anniversary of the installation of Pope Francis as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.
Fr. Mike Michalski