17 Mar 2018

This Week Letter – March 18, 2018

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Before His passion Jesus said: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified … It was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”  Jesus uses the word “hour” to specify the moment determined by the Father to accomplish the work of salvation. The coming of this “hour” marks the beginning of the Passover – the passing of Jesus from earth to the Heavenly Father.  Jesus’ “hour” points toward His glorification and exaltation by means of torment, death and resurrection. The exaltation of Jesus begins with His humiliation “to the end”, to ultimate death on the cross.
Jesus is fully aware of His hour, the journey and its end. He experiences this “hour” in deep communion with the Father and in obedience to His will. For Jesus, His death is not the end, rather it is His Passover, His “passage” to the Father. The “hour” of Jesus is the supreme act of His love. Thus, the very concept of “love” gains a new unprecedented depth. The Son of God shows us that love is a total, conscious and voluntary giving of one’s self. His passion, the total experience, is an expression of that boundless love. Jesus’ entire life and mission finds its fulfillment in this “hour.” Everything that Jesus says and does is done in the context of the Jewish Feast of Passover, the solemn celebration of liberation from Egyptian slavery.  Therefore, it can be said that His whole life was directed toward that “hour” in which His love for the Father and for people reaches its point of greatest intensity.
Jesus’ “hour” is full of drama: “Now is the time of judgment  on this world;  now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” What follows is the Father’s deliverance of His Son for the world’s salvation, while the Son surrenders Himself, taking on the sins of the world and thus the transgressions of each one of us.  The result is the liberation and redemption of mankind from the slavery of sin, of Satan, of evil, and the access to  full communion with God.
Today, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us this: “…and when He was made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”  Then, let us look to Jesus and at how he encourages us through the apostolic letter of St. John Paul II , “Novo millennio ineunte”: “In contemplating Christ’s face, we confront the most paradoxical aspect of His mystery, as it emerges in His last hour, on the cross.  The mystery within  the mystery, before which we cannot but prostrate ourselves in adoration.” (n.25).   Enter into that “hour” of the Son of Man, and gazing at His suffering Face, touch the mystery that guides us to our eternal end. As Archbishop Rin Fisichella notes, “If we can recognize our own pain in the face of the Crucified One, then in the glory of the Risen One we can see passage beyond all limits, including death, all this in light of  life that will never end.” Oh Jesus, Teacher of Love, let me accompany You  in Your hour. Help me fill every moment of my journey to eternity with love in my prayers, words and deeds.

I am extending my most sincere nameday wishes to all Joseph’s in our parish, and especially, to our organist, Mr. Józef Homik,

God Bless!