8th/9th April 2017
Holy Week is the most important week of the year (Pope Benedict – Apr 8 2009 )
It was on an occasion when thousands of pilgrims had gathered in St Peter’s Square to hear Pope Benedict’s weekly Audience and catechesis. That the pope discussed Holy Week offering the world the chance “to immerse itself in the central event of Redemption, to relive the Easter Mystery, the Great Mystery of Faith.”
The Pope exclaimed how Jesus did not wish to use the fact of His being God, His glorious dignity and His power, as an instrument of triumph and a sign of distance. Out of Love for us “He wished to ’empty himself’ and become our brother. For love, he shared our condition, the condition of all men and women.”
The Pope described the Chrism Mass and referred to the moving ‘renewal of Priestly Vows by priests and Deacons before their Bishops and referred to the supreme gift of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, “which must be welcomed with devotion and adored with living faith.”
He discussed “Good Friday” – saying “Christ’s death recalls the mass of pain and evil weighing upon humanity in every epoch “If Good Friday is a day full of sadness,” he emphasised,” it is at the same time the best day on which to reawaken our faith, to strengthen our hope and the courage to carry our cross with humility and trust, abandoning ourselves to God in the certainty of His support and His victory.”
The Holy Father noted how: this hope is nourished in the great silence of Easter Saturday as we await the resurrection of Jesus.” The Church keeps prayerful vigil, like Mary and with Mary, sharing her feelings of pain and trust in God.” he stated. “Rightfully we are advised to spend the whole day in an atmosphere of prayer one favourable to meditation and reconciliation. The faithful are encouraged to avail themselves of the sacrament of penance so that, thus renewed, they can participate in the Easter celebrations.”
The Easter Vigil which Pope Benedict called the “mother of all vigils” proclaims to the faithful “once again the victory of light over darkness, of life over death.” At the Easter Vigil, said Pope Benedict, “the church will rejoice at the meeting with her Lord. Thus we will enter the atmosphere of Easter Day.
I offer Pope Benedict’s words for your prayerful preparation into Holy Week.
I wish you every Care through this Easter Holy Time – with the invitation to Refresh and Renew