Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homily - Passion Sunday (Year A)

Today, I will simply pose a question and offer an invitation to you.
First, the question…in the loving memory of Monsignor McFarland (may his soul rest in peace), I ask you: “Are you better today, then you were Ash Wednesday?” Let me ask this even more specifically, as we reflect on today’s readings: “Are you more obedient to God’s will today then you were on Ash Wednesday?” “Are you today more like Christ, who was obedient to God the Father even to the point of death?” While not necessarily physical death, death to pride, lust, hate, fear – whatever it is that keeps you from trusting unconditionally and loving without limit, just as God loves us. If not “better,” then Monsignor McFarland would say two things, which I now say to you: “why not?” and “it’s not too late!”Pray over whatever it is that has kept you from being a better Christian man or woman. And then be filled with the grace of the Eucharist that we are about to receive to have the courage and the wisdom to be more like Christ tomorrow then you are today.
And second, an invitation…I invite you to join us in our parish’s Holy Week celebrations. Father Kavanagh has reminded us throughout Lent that we are on a journey of purification and enlightenment in our relationship with God – just not our candidates preparing to join the Church, but each one of us. The liturgies of Holy Week – especially the liturgy of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter – lead us to experience the goal of our faith journey: the great joy of God’s love for us. The publication Living with Christ, recalls beautifully that “as we revisit the events of the final tumultuous week in Jesus’ life – the Last Supper, his passion and death, and his Resurrection - we are plunged by memory and ritual into the mystery that reveals and defines the meaning of Jesus’ existence and of our own. His story is our story, and what happened to him is the pattern for what is happening now and what will happen to us in the future.” So, I invite you to celebrate these liturgies and experience God’s great love for you. For some, I know that this will be a difficult invitation to accept – there is work, and practices or games, or other commitments. I ask you to pray and make the commitment – and sacrifice, if necessary – to join us this week. I hope and pray to see your family and you this week. May God bless you.