My friends, today is Holy Thursday, and the Sacred Triduum leading to Easter begins. I encourage you, if possible, to go out after dark during these days and look up into the sky at the first full moon of spring, and think back upon the Israelites of Old who were delivered from slavery into freedom as the Angel of Death passed over Egypt, bringing about the death of every firstborn Egyptian male (cf. Exodus 12.) Yes, the children of Israel were spared death because their homes were marked with the Blood of the Lamb…because they were a people who trusted in God and put their faith in Him. To fulfill the real purpose of the Passover of Old, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, was sacrificed for us during these days–He suffered, died, and rose–and those who trust in Him, who obey His Laws and keep His great command to love God and neighbor, will be delivered from that which Scripture rightly calls “the Second Death” (cf. Revelation 21:8), which is an eternity spent apart from God. This is the only peril we must fear.
In the article which follows from “The Catholic Thing,” Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM, Cap., a prophet of our time, notes that our sinful world, which does not honor God and which turns a blind eye to His Christ, cannot and will not grasp the true meaning of these sacred days nor will those who bear the name Christian but who are immersed in a spirit of worldliness, who pay scant attention to the Lord but who avidly follow the false gods of our day, reap the spiritual blessings and benefits of the salvation Christ Jesus has won for us: it is not enough to pay passing lip-service to the Lord!
By reflecting on the Old Testament, Fr. Weinandy urgently reminds us to keep these days holy by not binging on worldly thoughts and entertainments, but to prayerfully set our hearts on Jesus Christ and enter into a spirit of repentance for the sake of the world’s salvation. In this way, despite our Eucharistic fast, we will take part in the blessing of salvation and also bring about the conversion and salvation of many souls who do not presently know or love the Lord. Who is to say that if we do this, this will not be the most powerful Easter of all, even though we cannot attend Easter Mass? Jesus invites to repent during these days and enjoy spiritual Communion with Him.
Remember God loves you and me; He loves each and every one of us through Jesus Christ. He loves every man, woman, and child in the world with the same infinite love. I will be praying with you and for you in these holy days.
In Christ, Fr. Miles Walsh
P.S. A worthy follow-up to the written reflection by Fr. Weinandy, (referenced above), is a wonderful talk recorded by Fr. Shannon Collins, on March 22, the Fourth Sunday of Lent (“Laetare Sunday”). His talk is entitled, “Coronavirus and the Weapon of Prayer.” Fr. Miles Walsh
It can be found at: