Holy Week and Easter, challenge us to enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery – the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.
This is what it means to be a priest – to walk with people through the Paschal Mystery.
To celebrate the joy of birth (Baptism); growing in the faith (First Communion), love (marriages), sickness( anointing & praying) and death (the funeral liturgy and the new life promised)
I have some news to share that relates specifically to our sharing in the Paschal Mystery.
I have discovered I have pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is almost always terminal and life expectancy relatively brief. These have been difficult weeks for me, but my faith, our faith, has enabled me to be strong. Celebrating the events of the Holy Week with you has been a great source of strength and hope for me.
I have shed many tears, but they have been tears of joy – joyfulness in how God has blest me in this life.
For two years, we have journeyed together. You allowed me to be your servant leader.
Now it’s time to begin the pilgrimage that leads to the cross, directly.
Like Jesus I ask you to pray with me in my final hour. To keep watch with me. As I washed your feet on Holy Thursday, perhaps now I will ask you to wash my feet. I know that you will walk with me, wiping my face as I carry my cross to Calvary.
I thank you for all you have been, and in advance, for how you will be faithful disciples walking with one another through this unique experience of the Paschal Mystery.
Two years ago I stood here to be installed as your pastor, and I sang a song to you. May it continue to be our theme song in the next few months.
Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.