Here we are, a week away from Easter, the most important and holy day of the year!
God has chosen, in creation and especially through entering creation Himself in the Incarnation, to make some places and times holier than others. Thus we honor the place where the Holy Mass is celebrated by setting it apart from the rest of the world in the parish church, and even more there by placing the altar separately in the sanctuary. Inside the church is a privileged place of encounter with Omnipresent God, a place where God is in a sense closer. So also, this time of year is more important, holier, a time of greater grace being poured out. This is exciting!
I have often thought about how important it is for Catholics to celebrate this time of year with great joy. I find it odd that the Church does not tell us that we must attend Holy Mass and the liturgies of the Triduum (that is, of the “Three Days”): Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. After all, these three days are, according to the Church, the most important days of the year, and are actually ONE liturgy (Good Friday is not a Mass and has no formal beginning nor formal ending - it is a continuation of the Holy Thursday liturgy and is completed the next day at the Easter Vigil).
This year, we will be having this most important liturgy at St Anne on Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 8:15pm. To prepare for them I will be in the confessional hearing confessions at St Anne Tuesday from 6am-noon and Thursday from 3-6pm and 8-midnight. Remember, it is a precept of the Church to go to Confession at least the once a year in preparation for Easter.
It is important to remember that all our religion is the actual living out of our relationship with God. We do it all because we love Him - it is the way He has given us to be sure we are in a right relationship with Him. So, while it is not technically required to attend the Triduum liturgy, these three most important days in our relationship with God are very much similar to wedding anniversaries. Perhaps it is not strictly necessary to celebrate your wedding anniversary, but what does it mean for your marriage if you put other less important things in your life ahead of celebrating that day?
I pray that as Catholics we all have the excitement that is natural to these holy days when celebrated with love, as I pray all our married couples to on their anniversaries. And if you don't, what a perfect time to ask God to give you that grace of desire for Him (and/or your spouse ). That is one prayer God will always answer if we have the courage to ask - especially in this time of great grace!
God bless you!