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Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

“I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus proclaims to a grieving Martha in this Sunday’s gospel. From the beginning of history, man has sought a remedy for death. In Genesis the serpent promises Eve, “You will not die” before she eats the fruit. Death is our greatest enemy, one for which we have no answer. Yet Elizabeth exclaims to Mary at the Visitation, “blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Jesus is the new fruit which we consume in Holy Communion to assure our victory over death. Jesus comes not to give us something outside of himself, but to give us himself. As we approach Holy Week, we can summarize everything that Christ suffers and accomplishes as his gift of himself to us.

Death is something that we experience viscerally in many stages of life, but inasmuch as we allow ourselves to experience it, Christ’s life is manifested more powerfully. As Christians, the overriding truth of our existence is not death but life, and life to the fullest. “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain,” boasts St. Paul. We no longer have to live in fear and guardedness, desperately grasping at life. Rather, life—eternal and blessed life—is a gift that we have received, and that no one can take from us. Martyrs like St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Stephen, St. Oscar Romero, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and thousands of others point us to the ultimate truth of every Christian’s existence: “Oh death, where is thy victory? Oh death, where is thy sting.” Let the readings of this Sunday’s liturgy sink in deeply so you too can bask in the unimagined victory that Christ has won for us.

On Good Friday, I hope many of you are able to join us for our Living Stations of the Cross. Over a hundred of our parishioners have put in many hours of rehearsal to lead us in a prayerful display of the love beyond all telling that culminated in Jesus’ crucifixion and death. We will start at 12pm in the church and then proceed in a mile long route around the parish praying the Stations led by fellow parishioners. We will conclude at 3pm with the burial of Jesus in the church and the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Please see the website and bulletin for our schedule of Masses for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.

In Christ,

Fr. Dave