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.
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are:
07. Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday
08. John of God, Opt. Mem.
09. Frances of Rome, Opt. Mem.
14. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
17. Patrick, Opt. Mem.
18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem.
19. Joseph, husband of Mary, Solemnity
21. Fifth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
23. Turibio de Mogrovejo, Opt. Mem.
25. Annunciation of the Lord, Solemnity
28. Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Sunday
The Gospel readings for March are taken from St. John and St. Mark. All are from Year B, Cycle 1.
March 07th – 3rd Sunday of Lent The Gospel is about Christ driving the money changers from the temple.
March 14th – 4th Sunday of Lent The Gospel tells about Nicodemus nocturnal visit to Our Lord.
March 21st – 5th Sunday of Lent This Gospel tells the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life.
March 28th – Palm Sunday of Lent The reading of the Passion.
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 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), St. Joseph (March 19) and St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23).
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.