Look around you. It is Holy Week! The Church is filled with palms, and in one Church written Lenten promises from the children adorn the cross we will use this Good Friday! And later this week, the adult candidates who will be baptized, confirmed and receive their first communion at the Easter Vigil will be practicing. Also, during the week, some volunteers will be cleaning and preparing our Church for the Triduum: Holy Thursday when we celebrate the Last Supper of Jesus and the washing of the feet; Good Friday and Holy Saturday! Many in our parish are preparing for the Way of the Cross this Friday. Many memories will be lived this week and I sincerely hope you are able to participate in all of the prayer or even some of the prayerful times. Mostly, for me, this is a week to listen and give thanks to God for the stories of our people.
We pray especially this week for the suffering of those who are currently sick, incarcerated or alienated from us in some way. They are members of our family who cannot be with us and want so much to be with us. We also remember in our prayers the suffering of those who are burdened with worries of not being documented, or their homes are in foreclosure or they have no work… so much weighs them down. We pray for those who are fearful because of violence in their home. We accompany our families, our youth and children in the streets this week with special processions to remember that God never abandons us, and we commit ourselves to never leaving them alone. And on Good Friday, our procession culminates in front of a cross from an artist who captures the incredible impact of violence against our youth. The image will be highlighted in Holy Cross Church all day Good Friday, during the Last Seven Words, the Passion Service and confessions.
Holy Week brings forth the stories we cannot and will never forget. In addition, this year we are inviting our youth to walk and participate in a special journey called “CROSSwalk” – a four-mile Holy Week procession across the heart of the city to remember murdered youth and connect participants with opportunities to protect children, mitigate violence and support families struggling with these issues. (Read in this bulletin for more information.)
However you pray this week, with the congregation, during a procession, with your family at home, we pray for strong spirit of hope that helps transform our neighborhood into a community of peace and justice.
God bless you in this Holy Week!
Fr. Bruce Wellems, CMF