This weekend is the start of Holy Week, the most solemn period of the Church year. The days ahead draw us into the mystery of Christ's passion, death and resurrection.
I would like to share with you a Holy Week Guide, which contains spiritual reflections for each day of the week. I hope these readings will be helpful for your prayer as you observe this special time of the year.
We all give thanks to God for the election of our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, and offer our prayers for him. In his inaugural Mass on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, the Pope chose a vocation theme for his first homily. As you consider God's call, I invite you to reflect on his words:
"How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God's presence and receptive to God's plans, and not simply to his own... Joseph is a 'protector' because he is able to hear God's voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping... In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God's call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ!... It means respecting each of God's creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.
Today, together with the feast of St. Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus' three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope, too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross."
I wish you a most blessed and joyful Easter!