Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
As we reflect upon the Fourth Station of the Cross (front cover), let us recall the words of
Saint John’s Gospel: “Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.” Just as Mary drew near to the Lord along the way of the Cross, so she draws near to us in our sufferings, our trials, and our sacrifices. She offers us encouragement, strength and hope. She offers us her Son. As we hear the words of the Father at the Transfiguration in our Gospel this weekend - “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” - we might consider what it would have been like if she had heard those words (she wasn’t at the Transfiguration, but Scripture is a little unclear about whether or not others heard the Father’s voice, when He spoke these same words at Our Lord’s Baptism). Whether she physically heard them or not, how must her heart have resounded with those words of the Father! What might it have been like for her to reflect on those words amidst His passion? She offered her Son to the world, and now He offers Himself for our salvation, for our sins. As He hung upon the cross, He presented His mother to us (in the person of the beloved disciple) with the words, “Behold your mother.” Likewise, He presented us (again, in the person of the beloved disciple) to her with the words, “Woman, behold your son.” Yet, we can also imagine Mary presenting Him to all of us. “Behold. This is my beloved Son… bleeding for you… dying for you.” And yet, He will rise for us as well, that we may have new life. Let Mary draw near to you along your own Way of the Cross. Let her present her Son, who has given Himself for us. It is His suffering, His gift of Himself to the Father for us, which is our source of strength in our own call to make our lives a gift for God and for others. Let us ask Mary and all the saints to pray with and for us, as we take into our hearts the words of the Anima Christi prayer: “Passion of Christ, strengthen me.”
ATTENTION ALL ADULT LITURGICAL MINISTERS: Since not long after I arrived, I have been promising an Adult Liturgical Minister Retreat Day, just as our youth had an Altar Server Retreat Day in October. Since Lent is a great time for a retreat, we will gather for this retreat day on the afternoon of Sunday, March 18th. We will begin with lunch and fellowship after the 10:30 Mass (11:30). As some will be out bringing Holy Communion to our homebound and nursing home residents, and others may have other conflicts, we are encouraging people to arrive anytime between 11:30 and 1 PM, at which point we will begin the first mediation. We will spend the afternoon in reflection, discussion, prayer, and fellowship, as well as a short period of break-outs for more practical discussions about the tasks of each individual ministry. The whole retreat day will continue until 4 PM. We are asking all Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Ushers and Sacristans to please RSVP to Mary Archer (email@example.com) by March 11th. In your RSVP please clarify whether you will be joining us for lunch, in order to assist with the count for the food order. I look forward to sharing this afternoon retreat, with our Adult Liturgical Ministers.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!