March 2017 - Overview for the Month
The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.
Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church. (See also Apostleship of Prayer)
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are:
3. Katharine Drexel (USA), Opt. Mem.
4. Casimir of Poland, Opt. Mem.
5. First Sunday of Lent, Sunday
7. Perpetua and Felicity, Memorial
8. John of God, Opt. Mem.
9. Frances of Rome, Opt. Mem.
12. Second Sunday of Lent, Sunday
17. Patrick, Opt. Mem.
18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem.
19. Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday
20. Joseph, husband of Mary, Solemnity
23. Turibio de Mogrovejo, Opt. Mem.
25. Annunciation of the Lord, Sunday
26. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
The Gospel readings for March are taken from St. Matthew and St. John. All are from Year A, Cycle 1.
March 5th - 1st Sunday of Lent
Jesus is tempted by the devil in the desert.
March 12th - 2nd Sunday of Lent
The Gospel relates the story of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mt. Tabor.
March 19th - 3rd Sunday of Lent
This Gospel is about the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at the well.
March 26th - 4th Sunday of Lent
The Gospel tells the story of the blind man at the Pool of Siloam.
As we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance.
The Solemnity of St. Joseph (normally on March 19) is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed upon the foster father of Jesus. And if you are Irish (who isn't), St. Patrick's feast is another cause for a joyful celebration. The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25.
The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are St. Katharine Drexel (March 3), St. Casimir (March 4), Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7), St. John of God (March 8), St. Frances of Rome (March 9), St. Patrick (March 17), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18), and St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23).
The feast of St. Joseph (March 19), is superseded by the Sunday liturgy and will be celebrated on March 20.
Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!
During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection. The feast of the Annunciation, normally celebrated on March 25, has been transferred to April 4 since it falls on Good Friday.
Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.
As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.