I continue to hold all of you in prayer each day. Our priests continue to offer private Masses for your intentions. We are pleased with the great reception our online Masses have received from so many parishioners. I am very grateful to our parish staff, most of whom are working from home, with a small crew keeping the regular business of the parish moving. I know that all of you have had to make major adjustments in your daily life.
Likewise, in the parish we have had to adapt and change the way we connect with you. I am very grateful for the cooperation and sensitivity our parish staff has shown.
In this newsletter and two more next week, we will try to give you some resources to help you celebrate Holy Week at home. Of course, our online Masses will continue each day. I encourage you to gather as a family or household for the Mass of Holy Thursday, the liturgical service of Good Friday, and the Mass on Easter Sunday.
(We will not record an Easter Vigil.)
Thank you for your support and prayers. I have enjoyed hearing from many of you through email. Please continue to pray for all of us who continue to serve you here at St. Patrick Catholic Community.
If you have other members of your family or your friends who would like to be on our email list, just let me know or write to Mary McLain at email@example.comWe will be pleased to add them.
We have also opened a YouTube channel where we have daily and Sunday Masses posted for the parish called St Patrick Church Carlsbad that you can subscribe to.
Tony Kokab is one of those who have made our recorded daily and Sunday Masses available online. Tony is a parishioner who volunteered to help and has become our videographer. He and his wife have a daughter who is in first grade in our parish school. Tony is the one who gave every parishioner a copy of Matthew Kelly's book Rediscovering the Saints last December. We thank Tony for using his time and talent to produce our online Masses. If there is anyone who would like to volunteer to work with Tony and share the load, please let Fr. Ron know.
Holy Week is most definitely a very sacred time of the year, for it is now that we will commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus' life on this earth. These are the days leading up to the great Easter Feast. The Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end, and this coming week is extremely important for all Christians. The greatest focus of the week is the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it.
Historical documents tell us that as early as the fourth century the Church celebrated this “Great Week” with a feeling of profound sanctity. It begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The central feature of the service proper to this day, as it was in the earliest times, is the procession of palms. The palms are blessed and are then borne in procession to the church, where an entry is made with a certain amount of ceremony, after which the Mass is celebrated. The other notable and very ancient feature of the present Palm Sunday service is the reading of the Gospel of the Passion by three readers. Even though we will not be able to walk in procession with palms this year, we can unite ourselves with the Lord as we join our parish Mass online.
Especially important for Catholics is the Easter Triduum. This is the three days just before Easter. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Lord's Last Supper, which He shared with His apostles on the night He was betrayed and arrested. This year we will have to forego the washing of feet in the Mass which will be available online. This day is also called Maundy Thursday after the Latin word mandatum (mandate) because, after Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he gave them (and us) the mandate to love and serve one another. Also on this night, priests all over the world will renew their sacred vows. This is because, at the Last Supper, Jesus not only instituted the Mass (Eucharist) but also the ministerial priesthood.
On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death of our Lord, the liturgical service includes the veneration of the Cross. Following readings from Scripture that recall the meaning of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, we would usually come forward in procession to show reverence for the Cross on which our Savior gave his life. As you watch this service on the internet or TV, you can have your own veneration of a cross that you have in your home. Each person can take a turn making some sign of reverence for the wood of the cross. The service you see online will conclude with Holy Communion. At that moment you have another opportunity to make an act of spiritual communion.
On Holy Saturday night we would normally celebrate the Easter Vigil. Usually those persons who have spent months of preparation would be received into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Given the requirements of social distancing, our celebration of these Easter Sacraments will be postponed until a later date. At that time, we will have a joyous celebration.
This year we will celebrate Easter Sunday from a distance. Usually we would be celebrating many Masses on Easter morning to accommodate the large crowds. This year we will all be united in celebrating the one Mass that will be available on our parish website. We will celebrate together the central mystery of our faith: that our Savior who suffered and died for us has risen from the dead. We will be invited to renew the promises of our own Baptism and rejoice in being called to be God’s children. Our baptism not only celebrates our being welcomed into a life in Christ. It also unites us as sharers in his mission to share the Good News to every part of the world. Perhaps this year we are being called to be the presence of Christ in our own homes in some particular way.
As we celebrate Holy Week in unique circumstances this year, it may actually be a gift. We can spend more time reflecting on the meaning of the mysteries we celebrate. We have more time for personal prayer. We can discuss with family or friends (through social media) what these feasts mean to us. May this holy week be a time of renewal for all of us.
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Jesus enters Jerusalem as the crowd waves palm branches and shouts, "Hosanna!"
The Lord’s Servant will stand firm, even when persecuted.
A cry for help to the Lord in the face of evildoers
Christ was obedient even to death, and God has exalted him.
Jesus is crucified, and his body is placed in the tomb. (shorter form: Matthew 27:11-54)
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his way of the cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. Today’s liturgy begins with the procession with palms to remind us of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.
The events of Jesus’ Passion are proclaimed in their entirety in today’s Liturgy of the Word. Those events will be proclaimed again when we celebrate the liturgies of the Triduum—Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil. In communities that celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation with catechumens, these liturgies take on special importance because they invite the catechumens and the community to enter together into the central mysteries of our faith. These days are indeed profound and holy.
In Cycle A, we read the Passion of Jesus as found in the Gospel of Matthew on Palm, or Passion, Sunday. (On Good Friday, we will read the Passion of Jesus from the Gospel of John). The story of Jesus’ Passion and death in Matthew’s Gospel focuses particularly on the obedience of Jesus to the will of his Father. As Jesus sends his disciples to prepare for Passover, he indicates that the events to come are the will of the Father (Matthew 26:18). In Jesus’ prayer in the garden, he prays three times to the Father to take away the cup of suffering, but each time, Jesus concludes by affirming his obedience to the Father’s will (Matthew 26:39-44). Even Matthew’s description of Jesus’ death shows Jesus’ obedience to the Father.
Another theme of Matthew’s Gospel is to show Jesus as the fulfillment of Scripture. Throughout the Passion narrative, Matthew cites and alludes to Scripture to show that the events of Jesus’ Passion and death are in accordance with all that was foretold. And if the events were foretold, then God is in control. In addition, Matthew is particularly concerned that the reader does not miss the fact that Jesus is the Suffering Servant of the Old Testament.
Jesus acts in obedience to the Father even in death, so that sins may be forgiven. Matthew makes this clear in the story of the Lord’s Supper. As Jesus blesses the chalice, he says: “. . . for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
While the Gospels of Matthew and Mark have many parallels in their narrative of the Passion, there are a few details worth noting that are unique to Matthew. Only Matthew indicates the price paid to Judas for betraying Jesus. The story of Judas’s death is also found only in Matthew, as is the detail that Pilate’s wife received a warning in a dream and that Pilate washed his hands of Jesus’ death. Finally, Matthew’s Gospel alone mentions the earthquakes and other phenomena that happened after Jesus’ death.
Matthew places the responsibility for Jesus’ death on the Sanhedrin, the chief priests and elders who were responsible for the Temple. However, the animosity that those Jewish leaders and the Jewish people demonstrate toward Jesus is not to be interpreted in ways that blame the Jewish people for Jesus’ death. Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, the narrative reflects the tension that probably existed between the early Christian community and their Jewish contemporaries. At the Second Vatican Council, the Council Fathers made clear that all sinners share responsibility for the suffering and death of Jesus and that it is wrong to place blame for Jesus’ Passion on the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus or on Jewish people today.
There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel, we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who betrays Jesus and comes to regret it. We are sometimes like Peter, who denies him, or like the disciples, who fell asleep during Jesus’ darkest hour but then act rashly and violently at his arrest. Sometimes we are like Simon, who is pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross. Sometimes we are like the leaders who fear Jesus or like Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the whole affair. Jesus dies so that our sins will be forgiven.
The events of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection are called the Paschal Mystery. No amount of study will exhaust or explain the depth of love that Jesus showed in offering this sacrifice for us. After we have examined and studied the stories we have received about these events, we are left with one final task—to meditate on these events and on the forgiveness that Jesus’ obedience won for us.
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Creo, Jesús mío,
que estás real
en el Santísimo Sacramento del Altar.
Te amo sobre todas las cosas
y deseo vivamente recibirte
dentro de mi alma,
pero no pudiendo hacerlo
ven al menos
espiritualmente a mi corazón.
Y como si ya te hubiese recibido,
te abrazo y me uno del todo a Ti.
Señor, no permitas que jamás me aparte de Ti. Amen
No Confessions on Holy Saturday
There will be no regular confessions in the church on Holy Saturday, April 11. There is no need to be concerned if you have not had the opportunity to make your confession during Lent. A sincere prayer to the Lord and a good Act of Contrition is enough. If you have a serious need for confession, call and make an appointment with one of our priests.
Consider the advice give by Pope Francis in a recent homily in the chapel of Santa Marta where he lives:
Do what the Catechism says, the Pope stressed, it’s very clear: if you don’t find a priest to hear your Confession, talk with God, He is your Father, and tell Him the truth: “Lord, I’ve done this, and that, and that . . . I’m sorry,” and ask Him for forgiveness with all your heart, with the Act of Contrition and promise Him: “Afterwards I will go to Confession, but forgive me now.”
If you do all this, Pope Francis said, you will return to God’s grace immediately. As the Catechism teaches, you yourself can approach God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand. Think: it’s the moment! And this is the right moment, the opportune moment. An Act of Contrition well made will make our soul become white as snow.
Thinking of the parable of the Prodigal son, the Pope encouraged: It would be good if today this “return” resounded in our ears, “return to your Papa, return to your Father.” He is waiting for you and He will celebrate with you.”
I realize that some of you are experiencing budget problems of your own at this time and I am not asking to cut yourself short. But please keep in mind the needs of our parish during these uncertain times.
Those of you who use weekly offertory envelopes, please enclose your giving into the special mailing envelope that comes in your packet
Many of you pay your bills using online banking bill pay, you can choose St. Patrick Church to receive donations to Sunday Collection this way
An email and text scam exists within our diocese where an email or text supposedly from Fr. Ron or from a clergy member of the parish requests gift cards or other favors from parishioners and parish staff. Please delete these emails and block the texts immediately as such a request will never come from the parish through an email or text.
During this time of inactivity, we will use our parish email system to communicate with parishioners to offer spiritual reflections and make announcements.
If you know someone who does not receive our emails, please forward this to them, or have them reply to this message to add their email address. You can also call the office at 760.729.2866.
The church is open for private prayer every day from 6:00am - 7:00pm