March 2016 - Overview for the Month
The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The beginning of March 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. The remainder of the month falls in the Easter season in which white, the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence, is the liturgical color.
Universal: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
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.
6. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
7. Perpetua and Felicity, Memorial
8. John of God, Opt. Mem.
9. Frances of Rome; St. John Ogilvie (Scotland), Opt. Mem.
13. Fifth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
17. Patrick, Opt. Mem.
18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem.
19. Joseph, husband of Mary, Solemnity
20. Palm Sunday, Sunday
24. Holy Thursday, Triduum
25. Good Friday, Triduum
26. Holy Saturday, Triduum
27. Easter Sunday, Solemnity
28. Easter Monday, Solemnity
29. Easter Tuesday, Solemnity
30. Easter Wednesday, Solemnity
31. Easter Thursday, Solemnity
The Gospel readings for March are taken from St. Luke and St. John. All are from Year C, Cycle 2.
March 6th - 4th Sunday of Lent
This Gospel recounts the parable of the Prodigal Son.
March 13th - 5th Sunday of Lent
The Gospel is about the woman caught in adultry.
March 20th - Palm Sunday
The Gospel is the reading of the Passion of Our Lord.
March 27th - Easter Sunday
The Gospel tells of the visit of Mary Magdalene to the empty tomb.
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 (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 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. Joseph (March 19)
This year the feast of the Annunciation will be celebrated on April 4 since the 25th falls on Good Friday. The feast of St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23) is superseded by the Holy Week liturgy.
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.