Homily for April 9

Homily for Palm Sunday 
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

Although it's at the very heart of our faith,
the story of the suffering and death of Jesus
is recounted in its entirety only twice a year,
and then in the same week, on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
Though we hear this story infrequently,
its images, scenes and characters are vivid in our imagination.
Particular words and phrases
have embedded themselves in our memory and in our hearts,
evoking repentance and prayer...

Don't these words echo in a place deep in your soul?

What comes to my mind and heart when I hear Judas ask:
“What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?”

When I hear Jesus say:
“One of you will betray me…”

Or when he asks of his friends - and of me -
“Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?”

In the midst of terrorism and violence, how do I understand Jesus saying:
 “All who take the sword will perish by the sword…”

What stirs in my thoughts and faith when I hear Peter say, three times:
"I do not know the man..."

What stays  in my memory when I hear Jesus say:
“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak…”

What feelings are mine when I hear the crowd call:
“Let him be crucified!”
Do I understand that because of my sins,
“They stripped Jesus of his clothes,
placed a crown of thorns on his head,
mocked him, spat on him and struck him…”
- because of my sins…

Do I hear Jesus pleading from the Cross:
“My God, my God: why have you forsaken me?”

Am I ready to stand with the centurion when he declares:
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Any of these words, these images
might be food for our prayer in the days ahead...

We enter the Week we call Holy when Christians around the world pause
to remember and celebrate
the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May the story of his suffering and death, embedded in our hearts,
refresh our faith in his love poured out for us...
and bring us all to the peace and joy of Easter.


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