BRIDGEPORT—Thousands went on line yesterday for the live-streamed Palm Sunday Mass of the Lord’s Passion celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano at St. Augustine Cathedral, emptied of the faithful because of Covid-19 precautions.
In his homily the Bishop acknowledged the hardship many people feel because they were unable to receive palms, but urged people to
“This year we will live Holy Week in a very different way. We’re separated, but in that quiet isolation we will have the unique opportunity to spend time with Jesus, and allow his words to penetrate deeply into our hearts,” he said.
“Perhaps this year by not receiving palms, the choice is clear; our eyes will be fixed on the one who will free us, grant us recovery, grant us healing and lead us to an empty tomb and one day to everlasting life.
The bishop said that when Jesus “entered into the city of David,” many people misunderstood the source of his power and thought he would be a political liberator who would set them free of Caesar.
“Through his ministry Jesus reveals a Kingdom but not what this world would understand. His love led him freely to the road we are called to walk this week, the road to Calvary,” he said, nothing that true love is self-sacrifice for the good of others.
“This world does not understand that which Christ has come to bring, and in this time of great suffering , when so many of our sister sand brothers are afflicted, you and I can glimpse into the meaning of the Kingdom born on Calvary.”
The bishop praised the “heroic love” of doctors, nurses and rescue workers who are battling the Coronarvirus sacrificially, and “putting their lives at risk so that others may find healing and recovery.”
He also said that the women and men who are working on the front lines of grocery stores, gas stations and supermarkets are “the unspoken heroes who are risking their lives so that we may have food and drink in this time of crisis. They understand what Christ brought to Jerusalem and they are bringing it into our midst now as a sign of hope.”
The bishop said he hopes that palms will be distributed throughout the diocese, “if God wills,” on Pentecost Sunday, the last day of the Easter season, and they are a reminder to pursue the real Kingdom.
“We should remember what palms represent. All the palms will be burned to dust and ashes. However, what seems to be a defeat on Calvary is the true light an d life that will set us free.”
Because the faithful cannot gather in Church for Mass during the crisis, the bishop has invited all to join him online he celebratez Holy Week and Triduum liturgies from Saint Augustine Cathedral. All the liturgies will be live-streamed on the Diocesan website (www.bridgeportdiocese.com):
Chrism Mass: Thursday, April 9 at 10 am
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Thursday, April 9 at 7 pm
Stations of the Cross: Friday, April 10 at 12 noon
The Passion of the Lord: Friday, April 10 at 3 pm
Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: Saturday, April 11 at 7 pm
Easter Sunday: Sunday, April 12 at 8 am