Today we begin our annual Forty Hours Devotions at the 12 Noon Mass as we celebrate our parish feast day (a little early): the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Adoration and Masses until Tuesday evening will take place in our main Church. As you know, Father Christopher Cooke is our homilist each evening. We look forward to his inspiring, encouraging and challenging words. Sunday evening will be our regular Mass. Monday and Tuesday evenings will be Evening Prayer, Homily and Benediction. Tuesday evening will include our outdoor procession and outdoor Benediction with the assistance of the Verdi Band. All evening services are at 7 pm. This is such a special time for our parish family to draw closer to Jesus, always present to us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Be sure to stop in for a visit and to attend the three evening devotions.
We express publicly our gratitude to Cindy Durrell who has led our 9 am Sunday Contemporary Ensemble for many years now. Cindy has retired from this ministry. She will be concentrating her attention and time on her other longstanding musical involvements locally. We wish her every blessing!
As you can see, we are having the narthex repainted. It was time to do so. Progress is a bit slow as the property management personnel are doing the work and the needs of the school opening came first. We are looking into a small refurbishment of the Chapel and Confessionals there. Painting, new flooring and other items to refresh but also to beautify and enhance the celebrations of Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. We will keep you informed on the progress of these plans. The sacristy enlargement and refurbishment is also being looked at again. You will recall this was phrase 3 of our Tabernacle and Sanctuary renovations. We have an updated proposal that we are reviewing. It will go a long way to provide additional working space as well as storage.
Jesus teaches Nicodemus in our Gospel this weekend, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” We certainly experience a lot of “condemnations” in our society, culture, world ~ sometimes even from religious people. Think of all the time spent not in dialogue but in arguing or talking over another. There are just so many examples at hand. Jesus is the only one on earth that could rightly condemn, for His judgement is true and pure. But He comes to save, to redeem, to find what is lost, to forgive, to heal, to set free. How does He do this? By His passion, death and resurrection.
We are not left off the hook. If we accept Jesus and the salvation He offers us, then we too must pick up the Cross in imitation of Him and lay down our ego and our self-will. When we do so, we come to know all of His grace and help and freedom to be all God has created us to be. Come these days of Forty Hours, open your heart to the Lord, silently be with Him so that He can reveal to you His love within the depths of your soul.