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Parish Daily Update 3/31/21

Dear Parish Family,

“What commenced with David’s gathering of the Tribes of Israel would soon reach completion in the criminal raised high on the cross.”      ~Bishop Barron

GOOD FRIDAY STATIONS OF THE CROSS will be prayed in the Church on Friday at noon.  Masking and social distancing are required.

ALL HOLY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY, EASTER VIGIL AND EASTER SUNDAY MASSES ARE FILLED TO CAPACITY!!  There will be no room for “walk-ins”.  If you were unable to make reservations, the 8:00 Mass on Easter Sunday will be recorded and posted to email and to our Facebook page “St. Joseph – Gluckstadt” around noon on Sunday.  You can join us “virtually” for the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection!!

Last year, our churches were closed down during Holy Week and Easter due to Covid.  We are so grateful to be able to celebrate these most holy days of the year this year.  As you come to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil, you will notice some differences from the “usual” Masses and Services due to pandemic protocols.  Our directives from the Vatican and from our Diocese state:

Holy Thursday:  “The washing of feet, which is already optional, it to be omitted.”

                                “At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession with the Blessed

                                Sacrament to the place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament

                                is to be kept in the tabernacle.”

Good Friday:      “There should be no individual veneration of the Cross by members of the

                                congregation.”    (Father Kevin will venerate the Cross and then the Cross will

                                be displayed during a time of silence for congregational veneration from your

                                pews.)

Easter Vigil:         “The preparation and lighting of the fire is omitted, the Paschal Candle is lit in

place in the sanctuary, the procession is omitted.”   (The Paschal Candle will be

lit at the altar.  No individual congregational candles will be lit.  Father Kevin

will proceed with the Easter Proclamation after lighting the Paschal Candle.)

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me!!  Again, even with these slight changes, we are VERY GRATEFUL to be able to gather together in prayer and celebration once again!  

The Parish Office will be closed Easter Monday.

God bless,

Pam

Holy Thursday
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper 

First Reading:  Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. “This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD. For on this same night, I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. “This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”  

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18 

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ. 

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 11:23-26 

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.  

Gospel:  John 13:1-15 

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, 
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so, you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.” So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’  and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” 

Homily 

“Peter said to [Jesus], ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance in me.’”  John 13:1-15 

If we’ve learned nothing else from this past year, most of us have come to understand how much we need others. We know how much richer we are because of the presence of others in our lives. We realize how much love enables us to give and receive. Many of us are beginning to move on to a new “normal” with a more ready spirit of gratitude, a deeper appreciation for those we love. We’ve recognized our own vulnerability and hurt and despair – and, to our surprise, our ability to be a source of support and assurance to others. 

Peter’s reluctance to let Jesus wash his feet mirrors what many of us have experienced this year. Washing the feet of someone else is hard enough — but it can be even more difficult to allow someone else to wash our feet. Like Peter who is clearly embarrassed to have his Lord wash his dirty feet, we pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency; we wave off all offers of help, trusting in our own resourcefulness; we loath the idea of letting our guard down, allowing ourselves to be so vulnerable as to accept such demeaning pity from others. 

This past year has softened that stand for most of us. 

This night confronts us with the hard reality of our vulnerability before God, of our need for love and forgiveness, of our belonging to one another as children of the same God. As Jesus is broken in his passion and death, we are wounded and broken in the Good Fridays of our lives – especially what we have experienced these last 13 months. 

On Holy Thursday night, Christ leaves us the parable of the towel and pitcher and calls us to take on his Gospel of “foot washing”: to take off our “robes” of self-importance and pride and bend down to wash another’s scarred, dirty, tired feet. What Jesus does in the cenacle we re-enact in our own homes and communities when we give of our time to someone in need, when we treat another with the respect and dignity they have been denied, when we admit our own stumblings and failings to gratefully reach out to grasp another’s hand. 

In his last “parable” to his friends, Jesus calls all of us who would be his disciples to put aside our cloaks of pride, of fear, of self-centeredness, in order to take up the towel and basin. To bend down to wash the foot of another person requires a spirit of humility and selflessness, of respect and love for the other person; to allow another to wash our feet requires us to trust, to let go of our compulsion to be in control, to acknowledge our need to be healed and forgiven. Comforting the distressed, speaking up for the victims of injustice, helping the poor break out of the cycle of poverty is to take up the pitcher and towel of Maundy Thursday.  

It is only when we become authentic foot washers that we become the Church of the Eucharist and the witnesses of the resurrection that Jesus calls us to become this night 

Father, tonight we remember the first night of the Passover of Jesus, your humble and obedient servant. As he washed the feet of his disciples, may we humbly and joyfully wash the feet of one another and allow others to wash our feet in acts of kindness and forgiveness. As Christ then gives his body and blood to us in this Eucharist, may we become his body and blood for our broken, hungry world.   

An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.