Let Me In
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Father Ronald Rolheiser, in his inspiring book The Holy Longing, relates a story by G.K. Chesterton about a man, entirely careless of spiritual affairs, died and went to hell.
He was missed on earth by his old friends. His business partner went down to the gates of hell to see if there was any chance of bringing him back. “He did some shady things, but so did everyone.” In spite of his pleading, the iron bars never yielded.
His priest also went down to the gates of hell and reasoned. “He was not really a bad fellow, given time he would have matured. Let him out, please!” The gates remained stubbornly shut.
Finally, his mother came; she did not beg for his release. Quietly, and with a strange catch in her voice, she said to Satan: “Let me in.” Immediately the great doors swung open upon their hinges. For love goes down through the gates of hell and there redeems the dead.
Holy Week is not the “Best of Jesus.” It is not his best teachings, his best miracles, or his best healings. What makes the difference against evil is those three little words, “Let me in.” In the great mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ became one with us. That we sinners might share his divine life, he “obediently accepted even death, death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
The Cross of Christ is the way to victory over evil. “Provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17), we too are raised to abundant life.
Holy Week is the greatest week of our lives. Don’t waste a moment of it. Put a blanket over the television. Unplug the WIFI. Fast from social media. Give the theme parks a rest. Cancel the golf game.
With the gift of found time, enter into the sacred solemnity. Spend Holy Week with the Lord. Read the account of the passion of the Lord in the Gospel of Mark, chapters 14 to 16.
On Holy Thursday evening, we remember the institution of the Lord’s Supper and how he washed the feet of his disciples. It concludes with the reposition of the Blessed Sacrament and solemn vigil.
Take Good Friday off from school and work. Fast the entire day. Read the account of the passion of the Lord in the Gospel of John, chapters 18 and 19, in preparation of the Good Friday liturgy, when we venerate the cross that saves us.
The Easter Vigil, which Saint Augustine called “the mother of all vigils,” is on Saturday night. On this most holy night, we baptize adults into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Easter Sunday, we begin our proclamation that will continue for fifty days until Pentecost, “Christ is risen!”
Our victory over sin has arrived. Let him in.
Blessed Holy Week,
Know someone who has not been to Mass since the pandemic? Bring them to a gathering on the Tuesday after Easter Sunday. We’ll start the evening with Chick-Fil-A dinner followed by a video on the topic, “Is There More to Life Than This?” The second half of the evening is talking in tables about the topic. No commitment, just come and see. No sign up, just show up. There are 8 evenings in total. The Alpha series starts Tuesday, April 6, from 6:30 to 8:30pm in the Nativity Parish Center. Sorry, no childcare available. Masks and COVID-19 protocols will be followed. If you all decide to come back but can’t make every evening, that’s okay. Check out a 3-minute video at https://nativity.org/alpha.
Following a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado and the mass shooting in Atlanta, our bishops offered prayers. “We pray for the families and friends of those who were lost and for their communities. We are especially grateful for the efforts of first responders to safeguard the community and treat victims.” They also offer measured responses to the plague of gun violence. Read their 2019 seven-page reflection at https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/violence/upload/Remarks-Bishop-Dewane-Responses-to-the-Plague-of-Gun-Violence-11-11-2019.pdf
Divine Mercy Sunday is a privileged occasion of grace and forgiveness. To encourage participation this year and in place of the customary 3pm Holy Hour, we will recite the Divine Mercy chaplet after the 7:30a and 9:30a Masses on Sunday, April 10. Prayer guides provided. Bring a friend!
How can we pray for you?
Nativity Longwood .
on Sunday, March 28 at 6:00AM