Easter is coming! It is April 16.
Can you make room for our Holy Week Retreat?
Why am I worried about Holy Week before Lent has even started? I think it is good to keep in perspective that all of our spiritual work of Lent leads us into a deeper celebration of Easter. Without Easter, the sacrifices of Lent would be meaningless at best and kind of sick at worst. Lent is to prepare us for the resurrection God has in mind for us.
This is the second year for our Holy Week Retreat, ‘A Week with the Lord.’ It is a non-traditional retreat. It is created so you can participate in the retreat within your normal week. It will be comprised of short periods of gathering together at Church on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You will be able to do the other parts of this retreat on your own schedule. This year we will be looking at Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection through what has been revealed to us in the sacraments.
If you asked people, “What defines the life of a Catholic?” you may get some humorous responses such as fish fries, ashes on a Wednesday, or even bingo. Yet, the sacraments are the single most descriptive aspect of the Catholic life. This retreat will explore what our sacraments reveal to us about who God is and who we are through Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection.
On Holy Tuesday, we are going to look at how Jesus’ words were used against him when he was speaking of himself as a temple. This was simply not acceptable. A temple had to be a holy building where people went and got holy. To imagine oneself as a temple and that the human being could be the source of holiness was surprising, to say the least.
In our second reading from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Paul raises this question, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16)? St. Paul’s writings are fundamentally different than Jesus’ statement about the temple. For Jesus, he was the individual temple and source of holiness. In St. Paul’s writings, his “you” is plural rather than singular. (It is hard to translate the Greek into English sometimes but it could have been – “Do ya’ all not know you are a temple of God.” In other words, where we gather as one body, the church, we become a temple that shares holiness.
And this is why I hope you can participate in the Holy Week Retreat. We become holy together. Please keep an open heart and mind as you see announcements about this retreat.
Sincerely in Christ, Fr David