My dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
We have come to the final stage of our Lenten journey of 2018. We have listened to the Word of God each Sunday and have reflected how the words of scriptures affect our daily lives. As part of this journey, we have resolved and have spent more time in prayer, sacrificed some time or a delectable food by way of fasting, and probably held back on spending for that one piece that will bring enjoyment or delight as means for almsgiving.
This is a time for rejoicing for we are about to come into full circle. We are entering into Palm Sunday where Jesus was hailed as the Messiah. The Easter Triduum starts with Holy Thursday where Jesus spends a last supper with His disciples. The following day is Good Friday where our Lord endured suffering and gave His life as a ransom for many. And finally the Easter Vigil which is the pinnacle of all rejoicing and life as Jesus is resurrected and have conquered death.
Holy Week is a time we reflect on suffering, the Cross, death and resurrection. As Christians, we are called to accept suffering in our life. We also know that every suffering that we endure we are carrying the Cross. Death, as we all know, is not the end but that there is rising to an eternal life with God. Death, for Christians, also means our lives’ death to sin. Finally, our resurrection is in Jesus, the Risen One!
Take to heart the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:10-15. “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry out: Abba, Father!”
I wish you a BLESSED HOLY WEEK and a HAPPY EASTER SEASON. Through the intercession of our Blessed Virgin Mary, may God bless all of us, keep us, protect us from all harm and above all give us new lives in the resurrection of Risen Christ.
Fr. Thuong Hoai Nguyen