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Wednesday Update 

Reminders: The Mass of the Last Supper will be celebrated on tomorrow evening, March 29, at the Cathedral. That Mass begins at 7 p.m.  See below for other Holy Week opportunities.

The Diocese Pastoral Center will be closed on Good Friday and on Monday, April 2, in observance of Easter.

Most of us know that we reflect on ourselves and our relationship with Christ during Lent.  Then, on Easter Sunday, we take renewed hope and joy in the promise of the Risen Christ.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have been freed from original sin and have firm hope that in cooperating with God’s grace we will one day join with Christ, and all those we have loved, in heaven.  That’s Easter in a nutshell.

But I encourage us not to just encapsulate our belief, our Christ with just a thought.

Today, I ask you to consider something further.  Perhaps it is just me, but it seems the last several weeks have been filled with all manner of things that people of faith might want to ponder.  There was the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the resolve of teens to call attention to a national problem of gun violence.  There are international and diplomatic issues and, I’ll call it a whirlwind of domestic events that are, well, that also have been revealing. We do not yet know what these events will mean to us 10 years from now.

We have the benefit of more than 2,000 years of recollection on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Imagine how the people of Jesus’ time felt.  There was the crucifixion, then, the mystery of Christ’s resurrection and later His reappearance to the Apostles.  None of these events were easy to understand when they happened. But after so much time, it has become easy to take the trauma and as we have come to understand, the gift of the resurrection, for granted. In the same way, it will not be long before we too take the trauma and our urgent reflections of recent events for granted.  Not to long before we forget the need to keep working to end needless violence.

It’s that process of being so quick to take things for granted that I want us to think about. Christ suffered and died for our redemption.  That should not be a momentary thought, but rather, we might ponder that sacrifice deeper.  We need to take that Christ’s loving action and remember His love by taking actions that speak of love too.

During Eastertide, the 50 days after Easter Sunday until the Feast of Pentecost, let’s concentrate on “random acts of kindness” and on using our talents and abilities to remember Christ.

Remember the students’ actions. Think about what we all can do to end violence. Remember the poor.  Try to really see the poor, talk to the poor and be Christ-like to the poor.  Remember the elderly.  If you have a neighbor that is lonely, let that person know they are part of your neighborhood; offer to take him or her shopping or shop for them. Many of our elderly live alone, not by choice, but by their life circumstances.  They belong to us.  Let them know you or someone else stands near and that in turn, stands to help.  And so on; we can take action with any number of causes and needs of people.

There are many ways, big and little, that can make a difference in the world.

Remember Christ.  Don’t take His sacrifice and gift for granted.

Party
I am delighted to dine on pizza with members of the construction crew working for Diversified Design & Construction and its subcontractors on the Conference and Education Center at Cathedral Square, also known as the new pastoral center today at lunchtime.A view of the building now starting to take shape

We have just posted a new video featuring a time lapse series of photos on the progress of the construction.  It has not been a project for the faint of heart.  You may remember that it all began with the demolition of the old parish hall.  There also was a great deal of complex infrastructure that needed to be added to the building site before  construction could begin.

I invite you to view the updated slide show of construction, soon to be posted on our diocese homepage at diocesetucson.org.

A buffet line of pizza for the workersMy thanks to the crew that has worked through both intense heat and shivering cold to get our project through to this point.

Mass for those incarcerated
I will celebrate Mass for women, men and juveniles at the Pima County Jail during separate Masses on Saturday, and for men at the Central Arizona Corrections Center in Florence on April 3.

Please remember
Sister Romana Piotrowski, 101, a member of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who passed away March 24. She is survived by her sister, Mary Ann Wrycza and many nieces and nephews.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning at Saint Ann's Convent, 3820 N. Sabino Canyon Road, and Sister was interred at Holy Hope Cemetery.