April 14, 2019
Homily given by Deacon Steve Letourneaux
What happened? 20 minutes ago hundreds, perhaps more, many more, were praising and wildly blessing this king, Jesus, who came in the name of the Lord. And now many of these same hundreds stood by, silent, while Jesus enemies were shouting CRUCIFY HIM! Where do we start?
I bumped into one of my friends at a local coffee shop some time ago and as we chatted, you know - sports, weather, family, diminishing golf skills as we age, work - we somehow got on “church”... A topic we have chatted about many times. He often kidded me that he will never walk in church again because if it did the roof would cave in and walls tumble! Most of the time we both laughed, but that day was different, I wondered what happened that he felt this way. I wanted to know. I probably swallowed nervously and then I took took a chance...what happened, Bill, I asked, that you feel this way? We talked for quite a while. Our conversation ended strangely when he said...”Steve, you are hardcore.” “Hardcore?” I questioned. He clarified...”you are a hardcore Catholic”. I have no idea what I said, if anything. We are still good friends...the roof hasn’t fallen in on the church - but I imagine that’s because sadly he still isn’t part of our faith community. I never thought much about his comment until this week. I read Scripture for today, and then...
ISAIAH’S writings: The Lord gave me a mission, he said. I did not turn away...I set my face like flint. What a spectacular image, flint. Hard, unchangeable, but when used for what it was made brings heat, and light, warmth and comfort.
PAUL’S Epistle: He lays out how God, our Father, gave His Son a mission. Jesus accepted and humbled Himself, even to death. A mission of unconditional love for us, and obedience rooted in unquestioning and unchanging trust in His Father.
LUKE’S PASSION account: Beginning the most intense 36 hours ever to imagine, Jesus took time to remind us of His love and mercy for all of us:
1) No condemnation of Peter as Jesus turned to him with the eyes of a
friend full of both love and sadness. 2) Struggling to carry his cross to His crucifixion, Jesus stops and
consoles women along the way.
3) Hanging on His cross, a request to His Father...forgive them since they
do not know what they are doing. 4) The thief who in his own way was looking for God, heard the promise
from Jesus...this day you will be with me in paradise!
OBEDIENCE LOVE MERCY FORGIVENESS TRUST
These, all of these, my friends, are hardcore Christian, hardcore Catholic. Jesus is our mentor. I doubt I live up to this when my friend called me a hardcore Catholic.
Our Holy Week mission is not loving and following Jesus in the short term. It is loving, following, being faithful and passionate in the long term. Mary Kabat is a Sister of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. Hear and listen to her words:
“Holy Week is before us. Let us run to the Lord, stay by His side, hear His words, see His actions this week and find ourselves alive with and for Him this Easter.”