I read this story about comedian Yakov Smirnoff, a Ukrainian-American comedian, actor and writer who began his career as a stand-up comedian in the Soviet Union. When he first came to the US, he was not prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk–you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, What a country!”
Smirnoff is joking but we could be making these assumptions about Christian Transformation. We go to church as if we are going to the grocery store: Powdered Christian. Just add water and disciples are born not made. Unfortunately, there is no such powder and disciples of Jesus Christ are not instantly born. We must understand what it means to be a disciple. Does this mean that we should deny ourselves and take up the cross? YES, many times we are called to do that because that is exactly what Jesus said and did!
Today we are beginning the most Holy Week of the liturgical year and the three holiest days of this week are called the “Sacred Paschal Triduum.” Last Sunday in the bulletin, Msgr. Brennan had explained beautifully the theological and practical meaning of these most holy three days and invited us all to attend these celebrations filled with Scriptures, symbols and rites that touch us and enrich us spiritually.
I too invite us all to come and celebrate this unfathomable love of God for each one of us during the Triduum. Join the Church services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Sunday. Keep the schedule handy on your refrigerator or mark those events on your calendar. We will grow in greater knowledge of our faith when we attend these liturgical services.
Our wonderful choir has been practicing for these services. I have been enjoying the preview of what they have in store for us this holy week. The sacrifice these talented and committed music ministers of our parish has been making, under the leadership of our wonderfully gifted Joan Seamon, will fill us all with a prayerful taste of soul-filling and inspirational music. Come as a family and let this week help you grow closer to Jesus Christ who loves each one of us so much: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John. 3:16).
May He enrich us and bless us.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal