As we enter into the home stretch of this Lenten journey, it is time to review our goals, and perhaps renew our efforts to place love of God above all else. We are given some very fruitful days in the coming weeks to once again reject any vice at work in our lives and embrace a more virtuous life. With the grace this season affords, we can better understand the temptations that affect us and be clear-headed in choosing to follow Christ and lovingly accomplish the Father’s will.
One strong temptation of our day is to wonder why God does not do the great works of old for us. The people of Israel for 4o years in the desert experienced God’s presence in their midst as a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. Yet, they still grumbled against God. The Lord fed them with manna in the morning and quail at night, yet they still questioned the power of God. On Mt. Sinai, God spoke to Moses and gave the people the Ten Commandments, but they made for themselves a golden calf and declared: “Here is our god.”
God has made his new and eternal covenant with us through his Son, Jesus Christ. In the final days of Lent, we prepare to celebrate the fidelity of Jesus to the Father, and the love of Jesus for all of humanity as we recall his passion, death and resurrection. Every day, we celebrate the Eucharist and are fed with God’s Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus, as the greatest expression of God’s fidelity and the promise of Jesus to remain with us always. This is our strength. Jesus is the fire of love we live and share with others. Jesus Christ is our unity and our peace.
The Chrism Mass, with the priests of the diocese gathered around the bishop, along with representatives from the parishes of the diocese expresses the unity of the local Church (The Diocese of Cheyenne.) During this Mass, the priests renew their promises. During the Chrism Mass the bishop consecrates the oils that will be used throughout the liturgical year to administer the sacraments.
Chrism Oil is used to anoint the head of a bishop when he is ordained, the hands of priests at their ordination, the walls of new churches and the heads of those who are baptized and confirmed. The Oil of the Infirmed anoints those who are sick and dying, and Oil of Catechumens anoints those who are beginning the life of faith at baptism. All of these sacramental celebrations express the truth that Jesus Christ accompanies us at every moment of this earthly pilgrimage of faith. Every sacrament we receive incorporates us into the Life of Jesus Christ.
The Chrism Mass is one of the most beautiful liturgical celebrations of the year, and sure to renew and strengthen the faith of all in attendance! Please come join us this year on Thursday, March 17, 5:30 at St. Patrick in Casper. This will be far better than any other St. Paddy’s Day celebration anywhere!