A SHORTER HOMILY FOR THE PALM SUNDAY – CYCLE “B” – MARCH 29TH, 2015 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
The Passion is not the easiest story to read. There’s the physical suffering of the scourging, the crowning with thorns, and of course the nails. But then there’s also the heartbreak of Mary, the betrayal of Peter, and the abandonment of Jesus, and all of these things make up the emotional sufferings of this story.
And every year, as we say these words, it’s hard. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Every year, when we read the Passion on Palm Sunday, and again on Good Friday, I keep finding myself, not only saying Jesus’ lines, but also taking the part of the crowd, too. I certainly realize that I too am one of those for whom Jesus paid the ransom. I am one of the ungrateful ones, one of those whose flesh tires and fails to keep watch with Him. In the Passion story, we all take our part. We’re all involved. This story isn’t just about Jesus. And this story isn’t just about two-thousand years ago. This story is about all of us, and it is as much for today, as it was for Jesus’ time.
And as we read this story today, as I said Jesus’ word, His lines, as all of us realize what He did for us two-thousand years ago and all that it required of Him, I ask myself today “How could He do it?” How could He go through such a horrific experience? And from the heart of the Passion story, we hear Jesus respond: “How could I not?” “How could I not?” Christ’s love is so overwhelming!
This week, Holy Week, is the greatest week of the entire year for us as Catholics. The prayer, the sacrifices, the liturgies, the traditions, everything comes together this week to lead us directly into next Sunday and Easter. During this whole week, we must all take our parts. We must be present. We must be involved. We must participate! Not just today, but every day this Holy Week, and most especially, during the three days of the Sacred Triduum, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Our participation is demanded by His Passion. We must be there. We must be there at the Last Supper. We must be there on Mt. Calvary when He is hanging on a cross. We must be there as the grave is forever changed by God, from a place of deep sadness and loss of hope, to the site of God’s greatest achievement: the Resurrection! Just as He did in Egypt with Pharoah on the night of the Passover, all those years ago, once again God saves His people, and this time, this time, it is forever!
Make no mistake about it, my brothers and sisters, we all have an important role to play in this drama, this story. We’re involved. And for us, the story isn’t over, but it is just beginning!
Let us use this week well. Let us deepen our awareness of God’s love in all of our lives. And deep down, in the secret recesses of our hearts, may we give ourselves to Him anew and be grateful for what He has done for all of us!
+ May God bless us this Holy Week, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!