Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday - homily

Longggg Gospel… short homily. In the span of what, thirty minutes, we’ve heard two Gospels which are completely different. The first Gospel we read is about Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem. The crowds are treating him like a king – waving palm branches and signing God’s praises for Jesus. Then, in the second Gospel – the Passion Narrative – they yell out repeatedly, “crucify him! Crucify him!” Why the switch? Why did they turn on Jesus?

The people believed in the powers that Jesus showed, like he was a magician or something. They witnessed his miracles, his healings, his cures, and thought that he was the man. He was more of a wonder-worker than anything else to many of them. But, when push came to shove, and they were asked if they believed that he was the Messiah…the Son of God…they said, ‘no’. They didn’t believe in HIM. They didn’t believe he is the Son of God, and became enraged that he would make such a claim. They treated him like a criminal who should be executed.

Mother Teresa said that as much as Jesus suffered physically in his Passion and Death, being rejected by so many people was his greatest pain. We just heard that he was in serious agony in the garden the night before he died. We hear in the Psalm, “my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” The Father is always with the Son, but Christ experienced the greatest human pain of all: rejection and loneliness.

We can’t be too hard on the crowds because we do the same thing. We come to Church, and sing God’s praises for Jesus. We profess him as our king, and shout, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”. But, then, we reject him when we sin. This is why we participate every year in the Passion. In small ways and in big ways, we sometimes say, “Crucify him!”

So, the question for us this Holy Week is, “do I truly believe in who Jesus is?” Do I believe that he is the Messiah, the Son of God? Do I believe that he is the Savior who came to save us from our sins? Do I believe that he is my Savior?

In a few minutes, we will have similar questions of faith asked of us. Jesus will be present on the altar under the signs of bread and wine. We ask ourselves, “do I really believe this? Do I really believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?” We believe in his power to change bread and wine into his body and blood in much the same way the crowds believed in his power. But, do we believe in Him? Do we believe that he is the Christ who comes into our bodies and souls in Holy Communion? Do we believe that he is the One sent by the Father to show us the Father’s love, and how to receive eternal life? Do we believe that Jesus is the Christ?


At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The homily was really good today. My child came back to her seat to tell me she going to tell people who ask her that she believes. She was quite proud of herself to make that profession, as was I that she did.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a short homily? Fr. Mike's was shorter.


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