Monday, April 13, 2009

Holy Thursday 2009

My former pastor, Fr. George, and my current pastor, Fr. Martin, seem to be similarly minded when it comes to the Triduum. They each hand different parts of it to the vicars at the parish, both gave Fr. Brian the Mass of the Lord's Supper, Fr. George last year, and Fr. Martin this year. Much like last year Fr. Brian did not disappoint.

I have always liked Fr. Brian, and he just keeps getting better and better, I said many times I love him, and I truly do. Fr. Brian aka FB is one of the "later vocations" as in he was ordained at age 40 vs. age 25. He speaks simply and sincerely and doesn't hold back, he tells you to get your ass to Mass, not in those words but that's what he means,and he will say point blank this is what it's about, Mass is important.

It's been a few days since the homily so here's hoping the homily pointers I left myself will jog my memory. Fr. Brian started his homily by reminding us that Holy Week calls us to be holy, and that it allows us to ask what makes us holy, how can I be holy, why am I Catholic, what makes me Catholic, and how can I be Catholic. Each question can be easily answered by the Eucharist, and that's what Fr. Brian told us. He mentioned how do I stay Catholic, considering that we became Catholic at our Baptism, and I all I could think of was my Top Ten Reasons to STAY Roman Catholic t-shirt. I kept thinking is he going to mention my shirt, but he didn't he just answered all the questions with The Eucharist is what makes us Catholic and we need to live the Eucharist.

How does one live the Eucharist he asked or how does one be Catholic; by doing more than just showing up. Fr. Brian came right out and said how about you send a letter over to Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame and tell him it's wrong to have a person speak at a Catholic college who think abortion is right. It goes against what we stand for. Fr. Brian put it much better, but the smile that came on my face as soon as he said send a letter to Fr. Jenkins had to be seen by him. If it would have been appropriate to stand up and cheer for a homily I think I would have. But Fr. Brian didn't just stop there he went on to tell us to defend marriage, true marriage between a man and a woman, and to defend traditional family life.

As I said last year the passion with which he speaks is amazing, and it's heartfelt. Fr. Brian went on the give examples of the priesthood and how our former pastor Fr. George gave of himself in many ways, most notably by giving a kidney to his sister Jeanine (who was at Mass that night with us vs. being at her brother's new parish, and by saying yes to the bishop. "It broke his heart to have to leave this parish, but he said yes like he has done throughout his priesthood." Without missing a beat Fr. Brian pointed out that Fr. Martin did the same thing by saying yes to the bishop and accepting the position at St. Anthony's. After 27 years Fr. Martin left his parish family and came to us, Fr. Brian of course added his humor into it by saying, he does have to live me with now and that's not easy.

Typical of Fr. Brian he does what the rubrics calls for, he preached on the Eucharist and the priesthood. He pointed out that each of the deacons have taken their own ministries up, be it baptismal prep, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick or welcoming people into Church and how they too are living their vocations.

Mass continued as normal for Holy Thursday. Fr. Brian likes things simple as he has pointed out to us, so that is how the washing of the feet happened. 12 people came forward after the 12 chairs were placed for them, Fr. Brian took of his chasuble and stole got down on his knees and washed feet. I don't remember if it was during his homily or if I read it somewhere, but I think it was during Fr. Brian's homily, where we were reminded that the King of Kings, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity got down on His knees and washed dirty smelly feet and we are called to Christ to others, we may not have to wash feet, but we need to be Christ to others. It was during Fr. Brian's homily that I heard it because I can hear him saying it.

It was a beautiful start to the Triduum, and I am truly blessed and quite happy to have such wonderful priests at my parish and in my life.

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