Pastor Letter for Palm Sunday (April 5, 2020):
Dear friends / Estimados amigos,
Though we will not be celebrating in the same space, the Church Universal celebrates and commemorates Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem this Palm Sunday. The current restrictions on social gatherings, which have forced the suspension of public Mass might tempt us towards despair, but the celebrations of Holy Week teach us the exact opposite is true. Consider the first reading from this past Sunday, 5th Sunday of Lent, (Ezekiel 37: 12-14):
“Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.”
Longing for the presence of the Lord is part of Salvation History. There were many times in the history of God and his creature mankind, in which mankind found itself waiting and wanting. That is where we are today as a church. Through no fault of God or ourselves, we are in the position of those who waived palm branches praising the entrance of our Salvation into Jerusalem. They embodied a people who longed for the day when they could see the Lord in His Promised Land.
We will commemorate that here at St. Stanislaus and broadcast that to you via our website. We will be together in Spirit, and the Lord will be present in our Church. At a future time, you will be able to once again hold that blessed Palm in your hand, and more importantly receive the long anticipated Lord of Hosts once again in Holy Communion. It is this longing for the Lord that is being asked of us all during this time. Through the words of the prophet Ezekiel above, we know that God longs for us even more. Holy week is the celebration of this reality made present in Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is a time for hope, not despair.
Stay connected by checking our website daily. If you know of someone who might not have access to the internet, please share this information the best you can. We will present all of the liturgies of Holy Week, celebrated privately here in our Church, in video on our parish website and Facebook page. We hope that this means of celebrating Holy Week, though not our normal means of worship, may bring that sense of joy and hope into your homes. God Bless you!
Sincerely in Christ,