Dear Ones in Christ,
I remember writing to you in an earlier email about an entry which Christopher Columbus was supposed to have made in his ship’s log during his journey to the New World. Things had become very routine aboard his ship with very little change from day to day. Still, he was obliged to make an entry in his log every day, so, with nothing new to report, he simply wrote, “We sailed on.” It’s pretty much been that kind of a week here; no real news or updates to share at this time. However, we’re sailing on!
Easter is fast approaching. It has been a tradition here at St. Frances Cabrini Parish to have potted plants decorating the altar. This year we would like to try something a little bit different in how we get those plants. I’m inviting all who wish to do so, to individually donate at least one potted plant (lilies, hyacinths, tulips, etc.) to the church to decorate the altar for Easter. If you wish to make such a donation, please bring your plant(s) to the parish office either on Wednesday of Holy Week or Thursday morning of Holy Week. Also, please make sure that you furnish one of those clear plastic plates with your plant to help protect the carpeting on the altar from water spills. We office people will get the plants over to the church. For those of you who will make such a donation, please accept my thanks in advance for your gift.
This weekend we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Lent, which means it is Laetare Sunday. The word laetare is the Latin, singular imperative of laetari: “to rejoice,” and is taken from the ancient entrance hymn of the Mass for this particular Sunday. The hymn begins with the words, “Laetare Hierusalem et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam; gaudete cum laetitia ….” (“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem; and be ye glad for her, all ye that delight in her ….”). On Laetare Sunday the presiding priest has the option to wear rose colored vestments as a sign to the people of it being a day of rejoicing. And yes, every single year since I have been a priest there have always been those wonderful people who make the announcement of how good I look in PINK!!! I love to reflect on the extra-joyful nature of this day, and because seeing a priest wearing rose colored vestments brings a smile to most people’s faces, I always opt to wear them on this day. When I was an RCIA candidate, the priest who helped teach us shared that it was also a custom on this day, in some places, to give a rose to those who were preparing to come into the Church at Easter. Since we have no candidates or catechumens here at St. Frances Cabrini this year, my gift of joy to all who will see me this Saturday will be to appear once again in rose colored vestments. I hope you’ll smile.
The theme of joy is overflowing in our second reading for this weekend. The reading is Ephesians 2:4-10. As you may know, St. Paul seemed to have a fixation on long sentences which have caused translators over the centuries to employ all sorts of punctuation marks to make sense out of what he was trying to get across. You can see that I sometimes get caught up by his example! So, I’m challenging you this week to take this portion of scripture and patiently break it down phrase by phrase. Rather than trying to explain it all to you, I would encourage you to read these three sentences for yourselves and discover in them the things that cause us to rejoice. I believe you’ll enjoy this spiritual exercise, especially as it comes on Laetare Sunday. Rejoice!
I pray that the week ahead will be filled with richest blessings for each one of you!
Your brother in Christ,