We stand at the threshold of that week that we call HOLY. Our Lenten journey is quickly coming to a close, to be followed by the Three Sacred Days and then Easter as a feast and as a season.
Yesterday I extended the rites of the Church to a friend who was not one of our Catholic family. Layne Nosich was a good man, generous and trusting, whose wife, Frances, is one of our good and faithful parishioners. At her request and for her sake, we gathered in Church to bury her husband with prayer and song and trust in the mercy of God. It was a beautiful celebration of who we are as fellow travellers on the journey. He had died unexpectedly at home on Sunday while she was at our Christian Mothers' function at the church. Our hearts go out to the family.
Last evening we had the first of our four Regional Lenten Penance Services. It was held in our church and the priests present shared the mercy of God through the Sacrament. This morning one of those present last evening told me that this was the first communal penance services that they had attended, and this person was impressed at how beautiful it was and how easy it was to "not be in the confessional". God's mercy and forgiveness can be tremendously life giving. One of the great things about these Penance Services for the priests is that we usually gather for dinner together at the rectory and enjoy the hospitality of the host pastor. One of the great problems is that we "eat too much". My thanks to our cooks for an outstanding job - I will not tempt you with sharing our menu ... just know that I said an extra prayer for them.
Today is our next to last Lenten Fish Dinner at the parish. I'm not sure if I told you that I have a very specific role to play at these Friday affairs. I am the "official" greeter, welcoming the many who grace our efforts. At least in this role I cause the least disruption, and it gives me a little practice for my future as a "WalMart Greeter". I enjoy the interaction with the people.
Following the Fish Dinner we pray the Stations of the Cross publicly for the last time this Lent. How time has flown.
Prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week through prayer and the opening of your schedules so that you can fully enter into the journey.