Art and music come together in this video as a meditation on the Resurrection. The Latin Hymn to our Lady is Regina Caeli Laetare Alleluia. Quia quem meruisiti portare, Alleluia Resurrexit sicut dixit. Alleluia (Translation: Queen of Heaven rejoice, Alleluia. For He whom you merited to bear Alleluia has risen as he said. Alleluia).
At the lakeside in Galilee the Risen Lord Jesus told Simon Peter “Feed My Sheep.” So, it’s time to consider vocations to the priesthood and here’s one of the more unusal calls to the priesthood you’ll hear. There’s an old Appalachian Gospel Song (a.k.a. “Stained Glass Bluegrass’) about the call of Simon Peter called “Don’t you Want to Go to Heaven When You Die?” It depicts Peter’s call to “go and feed my sheep.” The song is a toe-tapper and I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Also toe tappers are called for now that Jesus is Risen. 🙂
Men if you’ve been waiting for a bluegrass song to call you to the priesthood there here it is! The song is fun but the call is serious. Think about the priesthood! I hope you’ll pay special attention to the line: “Don’t you want to be a servant for the good God Almighty, Don’t you want to go to heaven when you die?”
Office of Priestly Vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington: 301-853- 4580. Msgr. Rob Panke Director.
Here is one of the better video summaries of the movie The Passion of the Christ. I post it here for your Good Friday Meditation.
As Msgr. Pope’s blog says, tonight is the night that the Church celebrates the ministry of priesthood. It is an opportunity for us to give thanks for the blessing that so many priests have been in our lives. Many of us can think of a time when the words of a homily, or a visit with a priest in a moment of crisis or a conversation we had as we were leaving church made a huge difference in our life.
One Tough Job
Arguably the ministry of the priest is one of the hardest jobs there is. It is 24/7, the phone does ring in the middle of the night, lots of people want a piece of your time, and everyone wants excellent preaching every week. The pastor is shepherd, CEO, CFO, CIO and maybe even the IT guy. We expect excellent homilies, the perfect prayer for every occasion, and that they are at the office when we need them. We’re happiest if they like everything in the parish that we like and not like all the things we don’t like. We want them to be human “just like us” and we want them to be just like Jesus.
I am fortunate to be able to say that some of my most favorite people in the world are priests. It was a priest, over pizza at Domino’s who first suggested that I might have a gift for parish ministry and theology. He helped me find a theology program that was right for me and was present when I defended my dissertation. In my first job in parish ministry when I told him that I went to visit a woman in the hospital and she asked to pray the Memorare, and I had to admit I didn’t know it, he made me a palm size copy of the prayer so that it would never happen again!
Sharing the Love
I’ve studied with priests, I’ve worked with priests, I’ve taught priests and so I’ve learned a lot about what they most like. With a nod to the more famous Top Ten list, here is a Top Ten list for sharing some love with our priests.
10 For no good reason drop off their favorite snack or a fresh cup of coffee
9. Before you tell them it was the wrong decision ask how they came to that decision
8. Write a thank-you note
7. Support a new initiative Father wants to try in the parish
6. Invite Father over for dinner or to a family celebration
5. For every criticism you have to share, share a compliment
4 Help Father be faithful to taking a day off, going on retreat and getting away
3. Offer to meet a need before Father needs to ask
2. Know that they are holy and let them be human
1. Pray often for your pastor and for all of our priests
If you have never been to the Holy Land and to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane here is a video that gives you an idea of what it looks like today including the Church built over the traditional site of the Agony in the Garden. Pray with Jesus this evening as he suffers a lonely agony in the garden.
This Lent, Archbishop Wuerl extended an invitation to those who have been away from church to come back and to attend Mass. (For more information, visit www.Maybe-it’s-God.org.)
Did you invite someone to Mass this Lent? Were you respectfully, or not so respectfully, declined? For some people, there may be a vast difference between not going to Mass and going to Mass. Perhaps, some are more comfortable easing into the Faith.
For example, why not bring a friend to Conversations beginning next Wednesday? It’s being held at Busboys and Poets, which boasts an excellent restaurant and chic lounge. The format for the evening is pure Q&A, and there will be two panelists who will discuss whatever questions the audience has. It will be a casual atmosphere yet will provide an in-depth look at some of the most controversial teachings of the Catholic faith. It may be the first step on someone’s journey back to the Church!
Wednesday April 29th – Sex and Birth Control
Wednesday May 6th – Same-Sex Attraction
Sponsored by the Office of Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Washington
For complete information on Conversations, visit our News and Events page.
TODAY IS HOLY THURSDAY, which marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum, or “three days.” Earlier today Jesus had given instructions to the disciples on how to prepare for this most holy meal, which will be his last supper. Through the day they make these preparations (cf Mt 26:17). This evening Jesus celebrates the first Mass and Last Supper with his apostles. In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper conducted at our parishes, we remember and make present that Last Supper. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass and Holy Eucharist (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time. At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the ministerial priesthood. After the Last Supper (First Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to a garden (the altar of repose) which has been prepared. The liturgy ends in silence. It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Most of our parish churches remain open until close to midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest (cf Mt. 26:47).
The Catholic faith has a long tradition of offering retreats to clergy, religious, and lay members of the Church. Just as Jesus retreated in the desert for 40 days before beginning his public ministry, we often go on retreats to regain focus, jump-start our prayer life, or seek comfort following a hardship.
There are many different kinds of retreats: solitary or group retreats, thematic retreats, self-guided or directed retreats, single sex or co-ed retreats, day retreats, weekend retreats, etc. No matter what type it is, it’s a time to focus solely on our relationship with God. It often involves prayer, quiet reflection, meditation, reading spiritual books, Mass, and Eucharistic Adoration.
Could you take an afternoon or a weekend to separate yourself from the everyday hustle and bustle and just be with God? You might be thinking, “Sounds great, but I’m too busy.” At a retreat I went on a few years ago, I remember our director saying, “If you’re too busy to come on a retreat…you’re too busy, period.” That stuck with me.
When we talk about priorities, I’m reminded of the oft-quoted line: Don’t let the urgent get in the way of the important. With only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, sometimes spending time with our Creator doesn’t make the cut. But if making a retreat is important to you, set it at the top of your priority list.
The Easter Season is a wonderful, joyous, Spirit-filled time to go on a retreat. A simple Google search will bring up many Catholic retreat houses and the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Standard also lists some upcoming retreats. If you’re a member of a parish, check the weekly bulletin or ask your pastor for recommendation.
I leave you with this quote from Mother Teresa’s No Greater Love.
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
…in the silence of the heart
God will speak.
Shameless Plug: The Office of Young Adult Ministry will be offering a Half-Day Retreat for Married Young Adults on May 16th 2009. For more information, click here.