Spiritual Renewal and the Triduum

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By Father Rich Tomkosky

As we are in the midst of the holiest time of the Church’s liturgical year — the Sacred Triduum, we are called to both commemorate and actually enter into the Sacred Mystery of the Last Supper, which is actually the first Holy Mass celebrated by the great High Priest Himself, Jesus Christ. We also commemorate when He ordained the first priests of the Church, the Apostles, and we remember when the Lord showed us by the symbolic Middle Eastern custom of washing the Apostles feet a sign of humility and service.

All three of these sacred gifts of the Lord Jesus to the Church and to us are very important to help us grow in the holiness He calls us to by our Baptism to have a real spiritual renewal as individuals and as a Church.

The Eucharist — the source and summit of our Catholic Faith, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph, 1324). Right now, we are in the middle of what the United States bishops are calling a Eucharistic Revival or renewal to help all of us Catholics grow in our appreciation and faith in the Lord Jesus’s Real Presence in the Eucharist; but for this to really occur, we as individuals must grow in our faith and our interior life of prayer.

Believing in the reality of the Eucharist is not automatic. We must ask the Lord and put into practice the things that help us grow closer to Him therein. Make a resolution to daily pray more, and to come to daily Mass more, as some have in Lent, and to Eucharistic Adoration.

The Priesthood — as I pointed out a few months back right now we have no seminarians in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown! This is very bad, but the good to come out of it may be that the people of Altoona-Johnstown not to take for granted the priesthood but work harder to pray and to promote vocations and appreciate the priests who are currently serving the parishes.

What a divine gift the priesthood is. As I have said many times, it is a sublime calling if the Lord is calling a man to it, just like the religious life is such a gift if God is calling a man or a woman to that.

The ordained priesthood is meant to be a living sacrifice of the priest’s life to help Jesus with Our Lady save as many souls as possible through the priest’s prayer and sacrifice and works of charity; and all of you are called to unite the same things with me as a beautiful oblation of love to the Lord as part of the priesthood of the Faithful.

Let’s ask the Lord to help all of us to be more generous in that regard in these spiritually dire times, which makes it a more beautiful offering and a golden opportunity for us to become God’s new saints!

Service — the charity Jesus shows by the feet washing is symbolic of what we should be working at in daily life — to be a person of more self-forgetfulness and self-giving love.

Sometimes this involves active works of charity (see the corporal works of mercy) and giving more of our money to good Catholic charities, but sometimes it involves more quiet unseen spiritual acts of charity, such as increased prayers for others and offering our sufferings and daily duties of our vocation with Jesus under the mantle of our Lady, our spiritual Mother.

The supreme gift of the living more deeply the life of charity is not just us helping other souls, but that it deepens our Catholic faith in the Lord and helps us to have a greater love for Our Lady and the Angels, especially Saint Michael and our own Guardian angel, and all the saints, who want to help us more than we can imagine join them some day in Heaven. The gift beyond imagining as Saint Paul says, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it dawned on the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Never forget that the end goal of the Catholic life is Heaven, and why these next few days of the Triduum are so spiritually beautiful and important for everyone’s soul. God bless you.

Father Rich Tomkosky is the Pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford and the Pastor of Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Beans Cove.