Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palm Sunday Homily

As we begin this Holy Week together I encourage everyone to delve deeply into this mystery of Christ Crucified. It is upon the Cross that Christ wins for us our salvation. Today we hear the account of St. Luke. One of my favorite parts of this story is the story of the good thief. What a beautiful way to begin Holy Week! Jesus Christ, the son of God and the lord of life, dies on the cross between two criminals. In these men, guilty of their crimes, we are supposed to see ourselves. Each of us has sinned. Each of us deserves the fate of the criminals. Yet, Jesus, without sin, deserved no such thing. We should see him hanging next to us, innocent but suffering for our sake. He puts forward to us a simple question: which of the two thieves will you be? The good thief, recognizing your faults and asking for forgiveness or the other thief prepared to simply suffer in his sins? As we begin this Holy Week together, we say, with that good thief: Jesus remember me, when you come into your Kingdom.

5 comments:

  1. Fr. Jake, something struck me Sunday during the reading..."My God My God why has thou fosaken me". During his agony in the garden did Jesus not know that he would be forsaken on the cross?

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  2. Well, the exact reason behind Jesus' "My God, My God" are truly only known by Jesus. However, it seems most likely that Jesus is quoting Psalm 22. This Psalm begins with the line My God My God why have you abandoned me, but it also ends with lines that say that God has turned toward me. So, I think it can be said that Jesus experienced everything it means to be human, up to suffering, abandonment, and death itself. But, he remained faithful all the while, which is what we are to do as well.

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  3. I think his asking "My God why has thou forsaken me..." stresses his humanity and underlines how he physically suffered; though he is able to overcome this weakness and accept God's will

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  4. I guess what I'm asking is, was Jesus truly abandoned by God at that moment on the cross, or in his humanity did he suffer so that he only felt he had been abandoned? I come from a Protestant background and the general belief taught by protestants is that God could not look upon sin and therefore God turned his back on Jesus while on the cross. What does the Church teach?

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  5. Well, I just checked the catechism and it doesn't really say too much about this particular part of our Lord's life. I do know that it is a contested issue. What does it mean when Jesus says "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?" I wouldn't want to say that God turns his back on Jesus, after all Jesus is God. What the catechism does say, is that Jesus truly died. This passage is meant to stress this more than anything. When Jesus dies on the cross it is not a ruse or a stunt: Jesus really dies.

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