March 2023 — Overview for the Month
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of March 2023
For victims of abuse: We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering. (See also http://popesprayerusa.net/popes-intentions/)
Feasts for March 20233. Katharine Drexel (USA), Opt. Mem.
4. Casimir of Poland, Opt. Mem.
5. SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
7. Perpetua and Felicity, Opt. Mem.
8. John of God, Opt. Mem.
9. Frances of Rome, Opt. Mem.
12. THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
17. Patrick, Opt. Mem.
18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem.
19. FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
20. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF MARY, Solemnity
23. Turibius of Mogrovejo, Opt. Mem.
25. ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD, Solemnity
26. FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, Sunday
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospel readings for the Sundays in March follow the Lenten season from Cycle A, The Weekday readings follow the annual Lenten readings.
Year A, Matthew 17:1-9: The story of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mt. Tabor. Jesus' face shone like the sun.
Year A, John 4:5-42: The meeting of the Samaritan woman with Jesus at the well. The water that I shall give will become a spring of eternal life.
Year A, John 9:1-41: The man who was born blind went off and washed himself and came back able to see.
Year A, Jn 11:1-45: The raising of Lazarus. "I am the resurrection and the life."
Highlights of the Month
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 20, 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. Also the Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25) when we ponder Our Lady's fiat. 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),
St. Joseph (March 20)
and St. Turibio de Mogrovejo (March 23).
A Time of Penance and Promise
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!
At the beginning of this month we will embark on our journey to the cross by receiving ashes and donning the purple of penance. 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.
The Solemnity of the Annunciation bravely appears during Lent; a pure white flower in the purple Lenten landscape. It seems to be, at first glance, a Christmas feast, but upon reflection we grasp that the feast is intimately linked to the Paschal mystery. For what Christ inaugurated at His Incarnation in accepting to offer himself for the human race, he will complete in his sacrifice on the cross.
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.
Go to Joseph
“This patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization,” wrote St. John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer).
John Paul II further said, “Because St. Joseph is the protector of the Church, he is the guardian of the Eucharist and the Christian family. Therefore, we must turn to St. Joseph today to ward off attacks upon the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and upon the family. We must plead with St. Joseph to guard the Eucharistic Lord and the Christian family during this time of peril.”
This item 12540 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org