Celebrate Sunday Mass With Bishop Strickland - Palm Sunday - 4.5.20
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Bishop Strickland Sunday Mass on Palm Sunday.
Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students.
I AM TRULY HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU ANOTHER INVITATION
This Sunday is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. We begin Holy Week. The Liturgy normally begins with the commemoration of the triumphal procession of the Lord into Jerusalem, accompanied by the waving of Palm branches by the cheering crowd. But, in this time of the Corona Virus, unfortunately, much of the experience will have be different. Out of genuine concern for one another.
The Readings for Holy Mass will be the same. We will hear in our first reading from the great Messianic Hebrew Prophet Isaiah, a prediction of what will unfold in the Passion, the voluntary suffering and sacrifice of the Life of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Those words, uttered through the Hebrew prophet centuries before, are fulfilled as Jesus Christ offers his back to those who struck Him.
The punishment for the sins of the whole world is laid upon the back of the sinless One, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the whole world. The promises given to the Chosen People in the Hebrew Scriptures are fulfilled by Jesus, the promised Messiah. And we are all the beneficiaries now, both Jew and Gentile.
This fulfillment of prophecy is also evident as well in the Responsorial Psalm for Mass. David, speaking prophetically, foretells the scene at the crucifixion where the soldiers divided the garments of Jesus. The Apostle Paul's beautiful words to the Philippians in our epistle proclaim the "kenosis" of Jesus Christ. A Greek word which means pouring or emptying out. JESUS emptied Himself out for us - and accepted death on a Cross.
The Sinless one took the penalty our sins deserved and paid it in full. He redeemed us. He ransomed us. Now, we are called to empty ourselves for Him, so that He can continue His redemptive mission through us, as a part of His Mystical Body, the Church - and the whole world may come to know His Redemption, turning to Him as Lord and Savior.
During Passion or Palm Sunday, two Gospels are normally read. One precedes the procession into the Church where, joining the throngs who gathered to welcome Jesus into the Holy City, we waive palm branches and exalt Him. But this is a Lenten Season which we will never forget. We will not be able to even be in most of our church buildings.
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As the whole world continues through the difficult days associated with the effects of the COVID 19 or Coronavirus, and millions are unable to physically participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in private, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
We invite you to join, virtually, with the faithful throughout the world in prayer and worship in an online experience of the Holy Mass.
Videos in both English and Spanish will be available on Sunday, April 5.
Let us pray that the Lord, in His Mercy, reach down from heaven to heal those afflicted with the virus - and intervene by the Power of the Holy Spirit - to bring an end to its devastation.
Let us pray for the Church - and for all of her clergy and faithful - that she would be a witness to the Power of Living Faith in Jesus Christ and share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world steeped in fear and darkness.
Let us pray for those in Civil leadership, that the Lord would give them the wisdom they need to make right decisions for the health, safety and welfare of people in every Nation.
Let us pray for those in the scientific and medical community, that they would be inspired by the Lord to find a cure for this virus.
Let us pray for one another.
And finally, let us believe the words and he promise of Jesus Christ. Even during this current crisis, He is at work, healing, delivering and setting people free from death.
The Father hears our prayers as we turn to Him, in the name of His Son and Our Savior. He sends forth the Holy Spirit to heal, inspire and give us hope in this time of despair. The Lord will intervene to help us.
May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church and the Nations of the world
Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation
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