Thursday, March 24, 2005

MH - Holy Thursday

Fr. Zuhlsdorf was the celebrant at tonight's Mass. His homily was a reminder that tonight is the anniversary of both the institution of the Eucharist through the Mass, and the creation of Holy Orders. Without the Church, there is no Priest. Without the Priest, there is no Eucharist.

He also quoted from the Holy Father's Holy Thursday letter to priests:
In priestly spirituality, this expectation must be lived out through pastoral charity, which impels us to live in the midst of God's People, so as to direct their path and to nourish their hope. This task requires from the priest an interior attitude similar to that of the Apostle Paul: "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal'' (Phil 3:13-14). The priest is someone who, despite the passing of years, continues to radiate youthfulness, spreading it almost "contagiously" among those he meets along the way. His secret lies in his ``passion'' for Christ. As Saint Paul said: "For me, to live is Christ" (Phil 1:21).

As the Holy Father said, "Vocations will certainly not be lacking if our manner of life is truly priestly, if we become more holy, more joyful, more impassioned in the exercise of our ministry. A priest 'won' by Christ (cf. Phil 3:12) more easily 'wins' others, so that they too decide to set out on the same adventure."

Finally, Fr. Zuhlsdorf spoke to the 30 altar boys who were part of tonight's procession. St. Agnes is famous around the world for the beauty of our liturgy, and our altar boys are one major reason why. People see the responsbility they carry during the Mass, and the reverance with which they go about it. Fr. Zuhlsdorf reminded them that they were all an inspiration and a reminder to the priests of St. Agnes, and that the priests in return would continue to serve them and the parishioners of St. Agnes in their spiritual needs. Since St. Agnes has produced 25 priests in the last 25 years and currently has 11 young men in the Seminary, they too receive inspiration from serving at Mass.

Now the church is darkened. Confessions are being heard until midnight. Christ is reserved in the side altar, and the high altar and sanctuary have been stripped. It is a lonely place without Him there, and it will be lonelier still tomorrow. Don't let Him be alone - join Him tomorrow on His Way of the Cross.

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