Fr. Bob’s Homilies

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Archive for April, 2009

Homily – Passion Sunday –

Posted by frmac on April 4, 2009

Jesus sure had his problems, even though he was God’s Son – the promised messiah. Jesus met with never ceasing difficulties in his ministry. Some were scandalized by his behavior and message, others demanded signs and proof, family tried to discourage him, and his disciples and apostles defied, denied, argued and resisted. And, on the political level he found himself in trouble with both the Jewish and Roman authorities. Sometimes when I read the Gospels I feel overwhelmed by the constant resistance, name calling, bickering and trickery that go on while Jesus tries to inform and convince. I try to imagine how Jesus must have felt, and wonder what he thought.

This Sunday we see him joyfully hailed and welcomed into Jerusalem – but his welcome and the joy are short lived. In the midst of dinner Jesus identifies his betrayer and predicts his death. After dinner, frightened and distressed, Jesus invites his apostles to pray with him, but they seem unconcerned and fall asleep. Then In the middle of the night he is arrested and taken to the authorities. Peter, fearing for his own life denies that he has even met the man, and the rest of his closest friends – the apostles – run for their lives. Jesus is alone. His ministry is in tatters.


One homilist, focusing on discipleship sums up the Passion this way: “The Passion story highlights these failures (on the part of his disciples) – 1 betrays; 3 go to sleep; 1 denies; and all flee; only one returned to be by the cross; a stranger attended to Christ’s burial; and it was the loyal band of women who remained closest and were the eventual messengers to the Apostles that Christ had risen.”

Today I am reminded, and I hope you are too, that we are Jesus’ disciples as well – albeit 2000 and some years later. How well are we doing as individuals in supporting Jesus in his endeavor to make God’s Kingdom present in our modern world? Not how is my neighbor doing, but how am I doing? What am I doing – am I asleep, denying, betraying, fleeing……..or am I doing something else? I suggest that this is a good question for each of us to pray over, as we begin our Holy Week Journey. Let us pray for one another this week, and for all Christians, as we journey with the church through the final days of Jesus ministry to the Resurrection and the Joy of Easter.

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