Today in the Joliet Diocese we will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass when the Bishop consecrates the three Holy Oils that are used throughout the year in various sacraments. He will bless the Oil of Catechumens (Oil of Salvation) , the Oil of the Sick (Oil of Infirm) and Holy Chrism (Sacred Chrism). This special Mass which normally would be celebrated on Holy Thursday is moved to Monday of Holy Week for pastoral reasons - so that the priests and deacons of the diocese may be in their home parishes to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in the evening with their own congregation. Tonight the Bishop will not only bless the three oils but he will also ask his priests to recommit themselves to their ordination promises to serve the people of God in charity and humility.
As for the rest of the faithful - we are asked to be vigilant in our prayers and to assist our parish priests as they make their best efforts to minister to their flocks. While we watch and observe our parish leaders - as we listen to the bells of the church and smell the sweet perfume of Chrism - we need to also ask ourselves what it is that we can bring to the table - to the Holy Altar of God as we begin our personal preparation for the Holy Triduum and Easter. In these last days before we can approach the Altar at Easter and wave the banner of victory of Christ - we first have to journey through the three Holy days of Triduum - to the Cross and Christ's death before we pick up our flags of victory.