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Fr. John Gerritts - April 14, 2019

As I reflect on the death of Jesus, crucifixion was an awful way to die. The physical pain had to be horrible. The emotional duress had to be extreme as well. When one is crucified, death results from no longer being able to breath - the individual suffocates. A person hung upon a cross would begin by placing one’s weight on the feet, allowing them to breath. When the pain on the feet becomes unbearable the person would then place weight on one’s hands. But this too would affect the ability to breathe.

My mother died of emphysema, so for many years it was hard for her to breathe - to catch her breath. I know this made her uncomfortable physically, but it was also scary for her. There is something very frightening about not being able to take a deep breath, to not feel the air come in and go out with exhalation. Most of us take breathing comfortably for granted: we only think about it when we are swimming, have a cold, or experience allergies. The general rule of thumb is we can spend three days without food, three days without water, and no more than three minutes without oxygen. Breathing is essential for human life.

This year on Palm Sunday we read the Passion of our Lord from the Gospel of Saint Luke. Luke’s account of Jesus' death is unique in several ways. One of the most striking things about Luke’s telling is his recording of Jesus’ radical expression of forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This is not a request from Jesus, but a prayer from his lips. We have no way to know what was in Jesus' heart at this moment. But the fact that it was expressed as a prayer of petition gives us a helpful option that what may not come spontaneously from our heart can be requested in prayer. That when we feel like we are suffocating because our heart is not where we know it should be, Jesus breathes this option into our soul.

This option is life giving to us - it breathes life into our soul. Knowing that we have this option to petition God - even when our heart may not be where we hope it would be - allows us to breathe. How easily we tend to suffocate ourselves when we know we are not able to live the life God calls us to when our hearts are not in the right place. Rather than entering into the darkness of death, we have hope. We can petition God even as we struggle to love, forgive, except others, and be kind.

And the really good news is that Jesus offers the same prayer for us in our sin that he offered to the Father for those who led him down the road of crucifixion.

Palm Sunday begins our celebration of Holy Week. Each day and each liturgy is different. Each emphasizes a different part of what is known as the Paschal Mystery. The Paschal Mystery is one of the main concepts of our Catholic faith. It is based on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus - the work the Father sent His son to earth to accomplish. The Paschal Mystery is what once and for all leads to our salvation. Without the events that we recall this week we would not have life. Here we are not necessarily speaking of physical life, but more importantly the life that is grounded in God’s glory. Without the passion, death, and resurrection we would suffocate: for dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Truly this is the most important week of the year for us as Christians. Easter Sunday we can all breathe in the freshness of new life that these events accomplish.


Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Church

Our Parish Council formed a task force to investigate ways Saint Patrick Parish can respond to the issues of clergy sexual abuse within our Church, including hosting a Mass of Healing in October and a listening session in November. Please click here to learn more about the Task Force's recommendation to Bishop Powers. 


Friday, April 12
5:45 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM Mass at School
4:00 PM KC Fish Fry

7:00 PM Living Stations of the Cross

~ Saturday, April 13
8:00 AM Dustbusters
9:00 AM Women of Grace
10:00 AM Confessions
11:00 AM Funeral for Evelyn Schoenoff
5:00 PM Mass 

~ Sunday, April 14
8:30 AM Mass

10:30 AM Mass 
11:30 AM Mission Trip Meeting
11:30 AM RCIA

~ Monday, April 15
8:00 AM Mass
9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
9:00 AM Walking with Purpose
6:00 PM Boy Scouts
8:00 PM Walking with Purpose

~Tuesday, April 16
8:00 AM Mass, Confessions Following
9:00 AM Divine Mercy
1:00 PM Music Rehearsal
3:00 PM Open Door with H
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
6:00 PM Family Rosary

6:00 PM Healing Mass, Confessions Following
8:00 PM Sister Parish Meeting

~ Wednesday, April 17
8:00 AM Mass
10:00 AM Mass - CCH

, April 18
6:45 AM Toastmasters

8:00 AM Morning Prayer
9:00 AM 4th Grade Stations of the Cross
7:00 PM Mass of the Lord's Supper

Friday, April 19
5:45 AM That Man is You
8:00 AM Morning Prayer
1:00 PM Passion of our Lord

7:00 PM Stations of the Cross 

~ Saturday, April 20
8:00 AM Dustbusters
8:00 AM Morning Prayer
8:15 AM Children's Choir Rehearsal
8:00 PM Easter Vigil Mass 

~ Sunday, April 21
8:30 AM Easter Mass

10:30 AM Easter Mass 

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