Sao Paulo, Brazil (Tuesday, 03/31/2015, Gaudium Press) In a message posted on the website of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, commented on the meaning of the Holy Week.
“With Palm Sunday, we began the celebration of Easter. The entire Holy Week is ‘celebration of Easter’ as well as the Easter Octave, after the Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
According to the Archbishop “these are the central celebrations of the Catholic Church, in which we recall the last days of Jesus on earth, His strongest recommendations to His disciples, His giving of Himself for the salvation of mankind in His Passion and His Death on the Cross for our sins, His resurrection, glorification, and the gift of a ‘new life’ for humanity “.
In his message, the cardinal invites “all the children of the Church to participate intensely in the Holy Week celebrations in their parishes,” since “Holy Week should be a great annual retreat of the Catholic people, by participating in the celebrations of the Church, particularly in the Easter Triduum. “
The Archbishop also addressed the fact that Catholic people in the past used to attend more in the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, “maybe we let ourselves go through a gradual process of ‘secularization’ of Easter, putting more attention on ‘ Easter long weekend ‘, an opportunity to travel and have fun in focus on the typical Easter food and gifts … “. However, he warned: “We must return to the original meaning of the Christian Easter!”
Then he advised parents and grandparents to find new ways to motivate children and young people to “assimilate the ‘Catholic soul’ of the celebrations.” “In communities and parishes, be sure to offer plenty opportunities for the participation in the different parts of this rich and also for a good Easter confession.”
The Archbishop of Sao Paulo also commented on how Palm Sunday in the Archdiocese, wwas an occasion for a “concrete gesture of solidarity”, by participating in the Fraternity Campaign 2015. “With our generous help, many acts of solidarity and Christian charity can be supported in all dioceses throughout Brazil, “he said.
Finally Cardinal Odilo emphasized that on Good Friday a collection for the Holy Places will take place in all parishes as a “gesture of solidarity with Christians living in the Holy Land, witnessing their faith in Gospel of Christ, often in the midst of persecution and even martyrdom! “
“I want everyone to live well this Easter celebration, may the Lord of life give us life!” he concluded. (LMI)