From The Font
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.”
Why does God seem so fond of evil? Whether it’s Moses and the Ark or the Tower of Babel or the destruction of the people who lived in the Promised Land before the Jews took it or the Jews who were conquered and taken away to Babylon, God seems to be a fan of violence… Of course, when we think about the Gospel of Prosperity Protestant way of thinking about Christianity, it seems even more contradictory. If God just wants us to be happy, why does the Lord seem so flippant about wars and capital punishment. It’s not as if this is just the God of the Old Testament as some bad theologians might say. Jesus suffers greatly. St. Paul is beaten, imprisioned, stoned, shipwrecked and snakebitten before being beheaded. All of the Apostles died as martyrs and so did a large percentage of Christians in the first four centuries of the Christian era. Even the High Middle Ages - our Golden Era - was marked by the Black Death - a plague which killed a third of the entire European populace…
In fact, there’s not really been a moment of history where God has been super interested in our prosperity in this life. On the contrary, even those people who have an easy life ahead of them - the rich, the powerful, royals, etc - have to plan to abandon all of that if they want to become saints. Only a very precious few very rich people have ever become saints and most of them were suffering in other ways…
In short, suffering - be it the suffering of Jesus or the suffering of people all through history - isn’t something God opposes. In fact, He imposes suffering upon Adam and Eve. Not just to be a jerk, but because in an equation where there is Heaven and there is sin, the only way for the soul which has sinned to get into Heaven is to endure trial and suffering and thus to make up in our own bodies what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. The injustice of sin - whether we admit it or not - is so potent that it affects us on an ontological level - at the level of our very existence - and Jesus suffered in a human way so that we would be able, in a human way, to unite ourselves to Him and be forgiven and be saved…
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
The “Paschal Triduum” consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Each of those adjectives tends to imply something positive: Holy, Good, Easter… And yet, we’re “celebrating” the suffering and death of Jesus. The goodness isn’t in the suffering, but what it makes possible, namely our forgiveness and salvation.
Holy Thursday recalls the Last Supper, specifically the moment in which Jesus established the Holy Eucharist. When they were at supper, He blessed the blessed and He blessed the wine. He told them that the bread and wine were his actual body and blood and that they should do this often in His memory (remember anamnesis). Then He went out to the Garden and kept vigil for three hours until Judas came to betray him into the custody of the Romans. Holy Thursday, then, is Mass as usual but with a procession at the end away from the main altar of the Church to a separate altar for us to keep vigil. Jesus says to his disciples who have fallen asleep “could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” Can we keep watch with him in the Church after Holy Thursday Mass? The Church will be open until around midnight for those who would like to!
On Good Friday, Jesus was tried, convicted and executed. He carried His cross and He died upon it and He was buried in the Garden. On Good Friday, we gather in mourning. There’s not a Mass properly speaking, there’s a “Veneration of the Cross.” It’s quiet. It’s reflective. We read the Gospel story of Jesus’ death. We pray for ourselves and for the world. We kiss the cross. It is a somber moment. Good Friday is a day of required fasting from meat. That means one normal sized meal and as many as two small snacks as needed for strength.
The Easter Vigil begins at dark. We light a fire and from the fire we light a candle and we bring the candle into the dark Church. Jesus is our light. We sit in the dark as we hear the story of our salvation: Adam and Eve... the Exodus from Slavery in Egypt... the Wisdom of the Old Testament… Then, the Gloria sounds out and we ring the bells and acknowledge that Christ our Lord came, died and rose from the dead. The lights come on. The Gospel is read. We sing Alleluia. We bring to an end our 40 days of penance and we start a new 50 days of feasting.
We know who wins… We have heard the end of the story. In fact, we know the end of all stories. We don’t need to fret about the upcoming election or the market forces affecting our businesses or the grades our kids get. Jesus is Lord of the world and Lord of history and when this world is gone, we will either be with Him in eternal paradise or we will be suffering eternal torment. The things of this passing age “will be as nothing compared to the Glory to be revealed in Christ Jesus.” That doesn’t mean we don’t care and that those thing don’t affect us here and now - but we know how history will play out. And THAT is why we can call these upcoming days Holy and Good. It’s why we can “celebrate” the death of Jesus and kiss the cross upon which He died. It’s why we do all of this - not because we suffer, but because our suffering is salvific in Jesus!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
April 18 Holy Thursday - Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper - 5:30 p.m.
- April 19 Good Friday - Veneration of the Holy Cross - 5:30 p.m.
- April 20 Easter Egg Hunt - Church grounds - 10 a.m.
- April 20 Holy Saturday - Solemn Paschal Vigil - 8 p.m.
- May 5 First Holy Communion - 9:30 a.m. Mass with a reception following in the Hall
- May 12 Mass honoring our high school Seniors - 9:30 a.m. Mass - reception following
For Your Information:
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE & ASSISTANTS….
- April 18 Holy Thursday - 5:30 p.m.
- Servers are Preston and Aidan Collins
- Lector Libby Bullard
- EMHC Prentiss & Blanche Wilks
- April 19 Good Friday Stations of Cross and Adoration - 5:30 p.m.
- Servers (Volunteers requested)
- April 20 Holy Saturday - 8:00 p.m.
- Servers are Carter Sullivan, Walker Sullivan, and H Ellerbee
- Readings Cathy VanderVieren and MaryAnne Gilfoil
- Lector Mike Rome
- EMHC Margaret & Pat Gilfoil
EASTER EGG HUNT….will be on Holy Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m. on the church grounds. Stephenie Marsh and Kate Copes will give leadership to this event. Contact one of them to learn how you can help!
EASTER FLOWERS...envelopes are available at the entrance of church if you would like to contribute to the decorations and lilies for Holy Week and Easter. Pick up an envelope, indicate for whom you are donating and if it is In Honor or In Memory, and return in the collection basket.
HOLY LANDS COLLECTION...Please support the Pontifical Good Friday Collection, which helps Christians in the Holy Land. Your support helps the church minister in parishes, provide Catholic schools and offer religious education. The Pontifical Good Friday Collection also helps to preserve the sacred shrines. The wars, unrest and instability have been especially hard on Christians. In these times of crisis, the Pontifical Good Friday Collection provides humanitarian aid to refugees. When you contribute to the Pontifical Good Friday Collection, you become an instrument of peace and join with Catholics around the world in solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land. Please be generous. For more information about Christians in the Holy Land, visit www.myfranciscan.org/good-friday.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- March Budget $9,585
- March Income $10,113
- March Expenses $8,118
- April Budget $7,668
- Collection April 7 $1,981
- April Income to Date $1,981
Stewardship “The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue that I may know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them,” says Isaiah in today’s first reading. The gifts God has given us are likewise given for the good of others. How am I using my gifts?
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tues NO MASS Fr. Ryan at Mass of the Holy Chrism
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Billy Hodge/family
- Thurs 5:30p Holy Thursday Mass - In memory of Alex “Bubba” Jumonville/birth on 24th/family
- Fri 5:30p Good Friday Veneration of the Cross
- Sat 8:00p Holy Saturday Services - In memory of Becky Lancaster
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning for the special intentions of Blanche and Skeeter Wilks
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 4/13 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 4/14 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: A Oliver, K Collins, A Keene
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 4/20 5:30p
- Servers: C & W Sullivan, H Ellerbee
- Lector: C VanderVieren, MA Gilfoil, M Rome
- EMHCs: M & P Gilfoil
- 4/21 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: Carter & Walker
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 4/27 8:00p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: L Bullard & A Keene
- 4/28 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & M Wood
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Michael Lancaster (April 13), Skeeter Wilks (April 17), Marie Ernst (April 21)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Diocesan leaders, our President, Governor, Mayor and national, state and local elected representatives
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Dale & Louise Magoun, Ed Mills, Kathleen Mills, Sue & Mike Rome and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Sue Scurria, Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon HaMnsen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, Geneva Russell
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Pam Amacker (Gilfoil), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Kay Collins, Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, JoAnn Phillips Finn (Hodge), Thom Gilfoil, Charlotte Green, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jeannie Kivett, Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Tobie McKowen (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills, Thomas Joseph O’Dowd (Army Ranger/Italy/M Scurria O’Dowd), Allan Placke, Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee and Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Walter Scott, Andy Sevier, Spencer and Mary Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Theresa Thom (Rome), Elaine and James Trimble (Rome), Adam Triplett (Reynolds), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart) Our collegiates: Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Josh Hall, Chris Hall (USMC), Matt Hall (USArmy), Nick Hall, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Bailey Rome, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.