April 7th – Father’s Ramblings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hosanna to the Son of David!

We have entered into Holy Week, and what a Holy Week it is. Let’s pray that we never again have as strange a Holy Week as this one. While we look forward to returning to normal, the strange nature of our situation can help us be attentive to the wondrous mysteries of our salvation that we celebrate this week.

On Holy Thursday, we celebrate three great mysteries: the new commandment to love, the institution of the Eucharist, and the institution of the ordained priesthood. In this time there have been new calls to love. How many have been more intentional about reaching out to others by phone or other means of communication? Though the Eucharist has been absent from many lives, it has been a time to build our desire for the Eucharist. As for the priesthood, let me tell you about how it has been for me.

Several people have asked me how I am doing, and I can honestly say that I am doing well. I have lived alone for many years, and much of what I do every day is solitary in nature. I pray; I read; I write: all of this I do without other people. Much of my communication I can also do alone.

That being said, it is still strange. My calendar has certainly cleared up, which means I have had to be more intentional about prayer and reading and staying on track with my spiritual life. Having the routines upset means I can’t just fall back on habit. It is also strange celebrating Mass and not hearing the great singing. Even if you don’t think you sing well, I greatly love hearing everyone join in singing the praises of God.

Back to Holy Week: Holy Thursday Mass usually ends with a procession of the Eucharist to the altar of repose, as Jesus left the Upper Room to go to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus invited the Apostles to pray with Him, and we are called to enter a special time of quiet and prayer. Many distractions have been taken away from us, but it would be easy to fill that void with other distractions. Technology offers many benefits, but it can also be a hindrance to us.

Good Friday dawns with Jesus in custody, and we are invited to walk with the Blessed Virgin and St. John as they follow Jesus on the road to Calvary. Nothing else matters that day except being close to Christ in His sufferings, offering Him what consolation we can, and receiving the outpouring of His mercy. With all that has been taken away, what an opportunity we have to focus on Jesus and His suffering for our sakes.

Good Friday ends with Jesus being laid in the tomb, and the earth goes quiet. Holy Saturday comes in silence, the silence of the grave. The disciples are in hiding, much as we are hiding from the rest of the world, and they grieved over the death of Christ, as we too are to grieve over all that we have lost in this time by being separated from Mass and our life together.

Out of the silence and darkness, though, comes the sound of the stone being rolled back. Darkness gives way to the glory of the Resurrection. The silence gives way to all creation announcing Christ’s victory over sin and death. The grief comes to an end; tears are wiped away. We will one day no longer hide, but like the Apostles, return to the world announcing the tremendous news: Jesus has Risen!

For all that we lose in our fidelity to God, we will gain far more. On the Cross, Jesus entrusted Himself to His Father, and the Father gave back to Jesus glory beyond all measure. We don’t know exactly what will come of all this, but out fidelity to Christ means that we too will share in His Resurrection and His glory beyond all measure.

While this is a strange Holy Week, it is also an opportunity to make it one of the best Holy Weeks possible. I invite you to join me in doing just that by as best as possible participating in the mysteries of our salvation.

May the Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection free you from all sin and fill you with the joy of His Holy Spirit!

–Fr. Ferris

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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