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Homily: Passion Sunday 2010 (March 28) – Show Up!

March 29, 2010

Audio of this homily is found here.

Everybody take a moment and collect yourselves.  That was a workout!

And, I fear…That’s the way we so often approach this Passion reading each year.  After all, we hear it twice, every year: once from a Synoptic gospel (Matthew, Mark, or Luke, then once from John on Good Friday.  I mean, the reading is almost as long as the rest of Mass combined, right? And we stand for all of it!

But, brothers and sisters…why do we do this?  Why do we suffer through so much verbiage on Palm Sunday?  And why do we go through such long liturgies during the rest of Holy Week?

This week, Holy Week, is the high point of our liturgical year.


 Why is it Holy?

Holy Week is Holy Week because the events we re-present during this time are the events that saved us!  I mean, think about it:

  • Did Jesus Incarnation save us? No.  It was special, and we celebrate it at Christmas, but it did NOT save us.
  • Did Jesus save us by restoring sight to the blind?  Cool…but, NO.
  • Did Jesus set us free from sin by curing the lame?  NO.
  • Did He save anyone by Curing the deaf? Restoring speech to the mute?  No.
  • How about by feeding the 5,000 plus folks? NO.  Walking on water?  NO.  Raising Lazarus from the dead? NO.

No, NONE of those thing were what saved us from Hell.  What saved us from Hell is the choice Jesus made: the choice Paul discussed in the second Reading: 

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
    something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.”

THIS is what saved us!  GOD…emptied Himself!  God the Son, obedient to God the Father, and died for us!  The Act that is saving us, even right now as we deal with the sin in our lives, is THAT ONE.  THAT’S why a Corpus is on every crucifix.  And THAT’S why this week is Holy:  because everything that happened to save, and to keep on saving every one of us happened during that week!

But…So what?

I’ll tell you So What.  SHOW UP. 

Our sin, brothers and sisters, was nailed to the Cross this week.


Our savior became the first-born from the dead this week.  And His choice, HIS death, gave all of US the ability to be born to new life!


The most important thing Christ left for us, and the most important thing He did for us, came about this week!


Show up for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday!  Show up to venerate the Cross of the Lord on Good Friday! And come see our new brothers and sisters in Christ be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil!  SHOW UP!

This Holy Week, remember what Christ did for us!  This Holy Week, ponder God’s goodness.  Think about God’s Mercy.  Consider His Love.

John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

The Most Important Things in your eternal life and mine are being made present in this sanctuary this Holy Week.  NCAA Basketball can’t touch this.

                   SHOW UP.

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