Last year's Holy Thursday 2012
Easter Vigil 2010
Holy Week 2010
Holy Week 2 2011
Holy Week 2013 began for me with the usual Palm Sunday celebration (while I love the drama of Palm Sunday, I want to give a shout out to the parish I went to for doing the "shortened version" of Luke's Gospel!!! ;) And I awoke Monday of Holy Week to this:
Snow in late March around here is pretty surprising. Our Spring Break for school begins during Holy Week and so my already shortened work week got even a little shorter!
I had set my alarm to go to Mass that Monday morning because it was March 25- aka the Feast of the Annunciation. That is...it is USUALLY the day we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, but as Twitter informed me in the form of one of my sassy priest friend's tweets: "Jesus is a preemie this year" (it's funny because the Annunciation marks when Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. And then we celebrate Christmas Dec. 25...nine months later...get it? ) and since March 25th falls during Holy Week, the feast is being moved to April 8 (presumably after we also celebrate the Easter Octave). Ah, the Church in her infinite wisdom :)
But as we also know, Mary has an interesting place in my heart and I sometimes struggle with my relationship with her. But here I was! All ready to go to Mass and reflect on her fiat: her "yes" to the angel at the Annunciation! And now the feast was moved?! Humph.
I know I've also mentioned several times before on this blog (I really need new material) that this Ohio girl always scoffs at the reaction to snowfall around these parts. I was grateful for the snow day on this particular day, but I knew I could still drive wherever I wanted. We had about 2-3 inches, I think, of snow and it wasn't really sticking.
So I decided to make a little retreat out of my morning- feast or no feast. Snow or no snow. I hopped in my car and did a little mini-church pilgrimage (okay, so mine was like 2 or 3 vs. the Seven Church Pilgrimage that is custom during this time of year).
The snow and the silence of Lent, particularly during Holy Week, made for a very nice backdrop for my morning reflection, though I still couldn't get the feast of the Annunciation out of my head. I read the Gospel passage from Luke (Luke 1: 26-38) and thought of this young, unmarried girl who had "found favor with God" and was chosen for a special mission.
Earlier during my little "retreat" I was waiting in line for confession and the parishoners were praying the Litany of Loreto . The title "Mother of our Creator" really stood out for me- probably because I had just taught the Creation stories in my courses- but I tried to wrap my brain around that title for Our Lady. This is what she was asked to be at the Annunciation and was really set aside for since her Immaculate Conception in St. Anne's womb: to be the Mother of our Creator, the Mother of God.
The other moment in my reflection that gave me peace and hope was Luke 1:37: "For nothing is impossible for God." I have since found out that I PASSED MY COMPS! What I once thought might be impossible (though I know many of you told me that I would be totally fine...much easier said than done as we know!) has finally arrived: I will be graduating with my Masters in May! It is truly finished!!! But the question my aunt so immediately pointed out to me on Facebook is: "What now?"
What now indeed. Well, first, I am going to enjoy this Easter Triduum and wait with the Lord through this Holy and Easter Week (s). (Also, going to LA again...three times in less than a year! I just can't stay away from the beach and the sun!) And then I'm just going to wait. I'm going to move into my new apt and get my diploma and wait for what is next. I don't expect an angel to appear to me (though it might be nice!!) but I will contemplate with Mary and trust that all things are possible with God.
I hope you are able to enter into these Triduum and Easter festivities! We all know that I can't wait!
I leave you with a pic from one of the parishes I prayed in Monday morning. I thought it captured this spirit of Lent and Holy Week:
Oh, and a cute pic of a sign that some of my students hung up in my room after I found out I passed!