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Mar 24th, 2024 | The 23rd Times

By March 20, 2024 No Comments
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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

Holy Week is the pinnacle of the liturgical year. If there was no passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, there would be no Christianity!

The world and humans are systematically disconnected and isolated from each other, made dependent on machines (computers and gadgets). Coming together is becoming rare (remembering how we would have our own family gatherings, children playing together in the streets, hanging around with buddies, etc.) Rather, coming together is posed as a threat or leading to violence. Palm Sunday brings the scene of everyone coming together to welcome Jesus as the Son of David royally entering Jerusalem and His Temple exclaiming, Hosanna. This was a definite threat to the power mongers and the elite of His time.

Holy Week happenings remind us of the current world. Of all the 52 weeks of a year, this week is called Holy Week, where the betrayal of a friend, denial of another, abandonment of the disciples, the mock trial, condemnation of the innocent and unleashing of violence on him all take place. What and where is holiness in all of this? In fact, Jesus redefines the definition of God and holiness. God, known as powerful and almighty, is redefined as the God of humility by Jesus. Holiness is not simply observing the law and being complacent but is actively giving oneself for others.

Our holiness calls for coming together and giving ourselves for others. Sacrificing oneself is a thumbs up for holiness. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Holy Week services and liturgies emotionally and meaningfully. May God continue to increase our holiness.

Holy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. The importance of the Holy Eucharist and recognizing the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is a decreasing trend in the lives of many these days. The attack on the Priesthood is in an increasing trend with the forces of evil. Let us especially remember all priests in our prayers, that they may serve the Lord in humility. Let us also remember that we are a chosen people sealed by baptism that implicates the threefold functions of Jesus of being a Priest, Prophet and King.

God Bless,
Fr. Jay Raju

  • Reading 1: Isaiah 50:4-7
  • Reading 11: Philippians 2:6-11
  • Gospel: Mark 14:1- 15:47