From The Font
“The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”
Rouse them indeed! In a world where TV evangelists tell us that all God wants for us is smiles and rainbows, it is the Cross of Jesus Christ which truly rouses. St. Paul said as much when he introspected “Woe to me if I do not preach Christ and Him crucified!”
The annual reenactment of Christ’s entry into the Holy City - a sign within a sign - is accompanied by the long reading of the account of His Passion and Death. This year, we hear St. Mark’s account. St. Mark is usually not very wordy - he prefers to keep things as short and sweet as possible. Of course, he’s writing in an effort to convert the Romans who, by this time, had lost most of their poetic sense. They just wanted the facts. All the more eloquently, then, does the Blood of Jesus serve to “rouse” them. And just as the ancient Romans were overwhelmed with their vicious games, their free government handouts, their sense of personal and societal entitlement and their national reputation as an untouchable military and political power, so, too, we find ourselves and those around us ever more difficult to “rouse” by telling the same sanitized story of a Jesus who suffered a little and then died knowing He would rise again and that then everything would be better.
The long story of the Passion, though, should be accompanied by some serious meditation. We ought to take out our bibles and read it each day of Holy Week - soaking in the nuances and the painful bits. We ought to allow ourselves to accompany the Lord on this path as St. Alphonse Liguori writes in our Way of the Cross booklets. The more deeply we let this day-long event speak to us, the more we will be freed from all of those silly attitudes which tie us to the ancient Romans. The more we allow the Passion into our hearts, the more we will be roused to faith… and then to hope… and, ultimately, to love for God and love for neighbor. It is this journey which makes Christianity truly transformative. Jesus didn’t choose to die in this way by random chance. Nor did He direct the apostles to preach in this manner as an afterthought. He created us! He knows us! He alone has the means truly to “rouse” our hearts and to bestow what St. Paul calls the fruit of a life in the Holy Spirit: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, self-possession and a multitude beyond these!
Insights From Second Street
When Moses asked to see God’s face, the Lord said that no man could look upon His face and live. So God showed Moses His back and Moses’ skin shone so brightly, he had to wear a veil. After St. Thomas Aquinas had completed the single greatest work of philosophy and theology ever composed, the Summa Theologica, he experienced a “locution” - a vision - in which he saw the “veil of the beatific vision lifted” - Heaven - for just a moment. He was so astounded that he declared that his writings, to which he had devoted decades of his life, were merely straw and should be burned.
The images in the Church point to something far beyond them. They are not what they represent, but they are like advertisements or billboards that point the way. The violet veils that cover those images from now until Easter add to the somberness we have been building throughout the season of Lent. In these two weeks of “Passiontide,” we are emptying ourselves. We are letting go of the consolations of our faith and truly sitting beneath the cross with Mary and John. We look up to the cross, veiled and hidden, and try to put ourselves into their frame of mind. What would the world be without Jesus? What would my life be without Jesus? Why would I wake up in the morning? How would I face suffering or trial? How could I have hope or joy or passion knowing that it was just a matter of days before the reaper comes for me? While it seems ridiculous… After all, we do have Jesus! Even on Good Friday we may receive Holy Communion! Still, the spiritual exercise of “sugkatabasis” - condescension - is powerful and good. It sets our hearts well in place to hear the passion this Sunday. It prepares us to witness the washing of feet on Holy Thursday… There, Jesus in the person of the priest will condescend to wash the feet of the apostles in the persons of the twelve selected men. It prepares us for Good Friday when the Eucharist is not consecrated, but merely consumed. It puts our minds in place to walk the way of the Cross on Good Friday Morning and to fast throughout the day. Finally, this disposition of somber consideration makes us ready to enter the dark of the Paschal Vigil. And as the Easter Candle enters the darkness, so our souls are longing for light! And as the lights rise, we see that the veils have been ripped away and the images are clearly seen! We are lifted with the lights and the music and the joy of that Easter morning! After all - nothing is hidden that will not be revealed!
LENTEN SPIRITUAL EXERCISES Within this last week of Lent, Father will be in the confessional Tuesday (3/31) from 5p to 6p. Also, please remember that this Friday - Good Friday - is a day of mandatory fasting and abstinence from meat and meat products for everyone from the age of 14 to 60. Everyone is encouraged to end this Lenten season right by observing the requirement to fast and, if possible, by attending the Holy Week events. (Please see the MBIC Holy Week Schedule for more details.)
FIRST FRIDAY & FIRST SATURDAY CANCELLED First Friday & First Saturday devotions will not be observed April 3rd & 4th due to Holy Week.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER BREAK Due to Holy Week events & an Easter Break, the MBIC Office will be CLOSED Tuesday, 3/31 • Friday, 4/3 • Mon-Tues, 4/6-4/7. St. Mary’s Easter Break will begin Thursday, 4/2, at Noon. Classes will resume on Monday, 4/13, at 8am.
- Tue, 3/31, MBIC Office Closed
- Tue, 3/31, Chrism Mass, 11a @ Cathedral in Alexandria
- Tue, 3/31, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Thu, 4/2, Holy Thursday - SMS Living Way of the Cross, 9a @ SMS Gym
- Thu, 4/2, SMS - Noon Dismissal
- Thu, 4/2, Holy Thursday - Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper @ 7p at the MBIC
- Fri, 4/3, Good Friday - MBIC Office CLOSED & St. Mary’s NO SCHOOL
- Fri, 4/3, Good Friday - Walking Way of the Cross, 10a through Historic Downtown
- Fri, 4/3, Good Friday - Veneration of the Holy Cross, 3p at the MBIC
- Sat, 4/4, Holy Saturday - The Paschal Vigil, 8p at the MBIC
- Sun, 4/5, Easter Sunday - Holy Mass @ 9a, 11a, 5p
- Mon-Tue, 4/6-4/7, MBIC Office CLOSED
- Mon-Fri, 4/6-4/10, Easter Break - St. Mary’s NO SCHOOL
- Tue, 4/7, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Sun, 4/12, Divine Mercy Sunday - Divine Mercy Holy Hour & Vespers, 3:45-4:45 at the MBIC
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 3/28 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 3/29 9a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • R.Cunningham, R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 3/29 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Joseph Sklar, Barbara Laborde, (EMHC-CH) • V.Maggio, S.Maggio, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 4/4 4p Kathleen Hicks, Levi Thompson, Deacon Whitehead, (Lector) • Jean Gill, Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Miley, M.Vienne, P.Vienne, M.Thibodaux, D.Thibodaux, J.Thibodaux, C.Fisher, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/5 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • John Cunningham, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • A.Behrendsen, BB.Behrendsen, R.&R.Cunningham, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/5 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • W.Lee, S.Maggio, V.Maggio, (Altar Boys)
*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
- Sat 4p: N.L. Vercher, Tony Ruggiero, & Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Richard Ragland, Karen Barkwell, & Special Intentions
- Sun 5p: Reid Mestayer & Easton Barbier
- Mon 6:30a: Sue Dearman
- Mon 8a: Pete Camp
- Tue 6:30a: Marva Cunningham
- Wed 6:30a: Martha LaCaze
- Thu 7p: Pro Populo
- Fri 3p: Pro Populo
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person. And that, the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Danny Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Andy Harrington, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Jo Lapeyrouse, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Leola Walmsley, Jessica Warner, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, & Laura Young