- Created on Saturday, April 01, 2017
- Written by Fr. Robert Novokowsky
What is the center of our personal life? Around what do we revolve? All the possible answers boil down to one of these: pleasure, power, prestige, money. These are indeed human goods, but none is worthy of being the center because all are finite goods. However much we have—we desire more. Most of us are 'sophisticated' enough to seek a blend of all 4 finite goods. Regardless, when we experiment with finite goods, and seek our last-ing satisfaction in them, our near-constant disappointment is buoyed by the fool's hope that just a little more will be magical. God waits. Since the human heart has a limitless quality, finite goods make us ask: Is that all there is?! Only an infinite good is 'big' enough to be the center of a human life. Only God will do.
The Liturgical Year's drama is heightening on the greatest story ever told. This story has the greatest protagonist, and villain, and supporting cast, and plot twists, and backstory, and sub-plots, and intrigue, and betrayal, and denial, and heroism, and courage, and cowardice, and the greatest real-life consequences the world has ever seen. Today begins Passiontide, which is the final 2 weeks of Lent. We cover the statues and sacred images (of devotion, not decoration) as an act of penance.
The opening of Holy Week is Palm Sunday – a commemoration of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusa-lem, and the reading of the passion from St. Matthew's gospel. The other accounts of our Lord's Passion are read on Holy Tuesday, Spy Wednesday, and Good Friday.
Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper, where our Lord instituted the new and everlasting covenant in his blood, and the two sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood.
Good Friday is the day we commemorate the greatest crime ever committed in human histo-ry. We call it 'good' because this crime occasioned our Lord's final victory over sin and death.
The Vigil of Easter begins with the paschal fire, the paschal candle, and the paschal praise called the Exultet. It continues with Old Testament readings outlining the story of salvation. Next, we make Easter Holy Water and Baptismal Water, and baptize any adult in need. About midnight, Easter Mass is celebrated commemorating the empty tomb of Jesus and his eternal resurrection from the dead.
Easter Sunday continues with Masses of the day. In fact, Easter Sunday is so important that 24 hours won't cover it. It lasts all week during the 1st class Octave of Easter. Henceforth, every Sunday of every year commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. (Why do we wear Sunday cloths on Sunday? – they are a sign of the resurrection.)
The ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter Week are not obligatory apart from the Sundays. It remains however, the greatest story ever told. You are invited, not just to be in the audience, not just to be an extra, but to be an important player on center stage. You are one whom the hero knows by name, and the motive for his heroism.