I recently read that we will never fully penetrate the mystery of God’s revelation in Jesus until we realize that most of Jesus’ life was hidden; even his three “public” years were invisible to most people. On Passion Sunday we enter into Holy Week, the holiest of weeks for Christians, as we celebrate the three most public days of Jesus’ life that changed the world forever. We reflect deeply on those three days, the Triduum, to understand the rest of his hidden life so we can imitate his whole life.
The way of the modern world seems to be more about publicity, celebrity, popularity and notoriety. Yet in my 20 years of experience as a parish priest, I’ve learned that real life happens in the daily routines of life. All the heroes in my life are people who have been kind, gentle, loving and faithful in the midst of suffering and struggles. They found the wellspring of Christ’s love and shared it with others graciously. To me, those hidden figures of faithful Christian discipleship are what makes life worth living. The heroes are ordinary people like my parents that you have heard me preach about so often. They are your parents and grandparents that you have spoken about to me since I have arrived here at St. Simon. Together they make up the communion of saints of our Church.
This year, we are celebrating the 65th anniversary of the founding of the parish and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the school. We will celebrate the many hidden figures who built this parish and school and recognize their many contributions throughout the generations. I have heard so many amazing stories of the faith-filled service of the parents and grandparents of years past. We continue to build on the shoulders of those who have gone before us both in the school and in the parish. On April 23 and 24, we will launch our year of celebrations with a 2-day event recognizing the past, present and the future of our school and parish. Please read more about it below and on our website. We continue to grow as a parish and a school with an increasingly diverse population. With over 70% of our students returning to campus for in-person learning, it is awesome to see them and get to know them. We are so blessed with our diversity at school and parish.
Speaking of diversity, like all of you I am disturbed by the increasing trend of attacks on Asian-American people across the nation. These acts of violence, as well as all acts of racism and injustice, go against what we believe as Catholics. We are one family. Whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences, we want to work against all acts of racism and injustice. As the community of Saint Simon, we stand in solidarity with Asian-Americans and are committed to peace, justice, and love for all.
Finally, a reminder that we will have a communal sacrament of reconciliation service on Saturday, March 27 at 2pm. There will be two parts: A Virtual Communal Prayer Service at 2pm and that will help us prepare for the reconciliation. Then, the second part is in-person confessions at 2:30pm onwards for those who feel comfortable coming to the Church property. The four priests will be outside and we will keep a safe distance with face masks on. We ask people to sign up for 15 minute slots so we minimize the number of people at the Church at any one time. Finally, please register for all services for Holy Week. We are looking forward to seeing you.