It’s all about Jesus: “Why are you persecuting ME?” Because: “Unless you eat…”
It’s all about Jesus: “Why are you persecuting ME?” Because: “Unless you eat…”
Complete with my usual breaks in logic when I’m waaaaaay overtired. I know what I mean but saying what I mean is another thing. Nevertheless, there is encouragement to be found in the Gospel and perhaps in my mumbling commentary.
If you think you’re clever with the faith, and know stuff, listen to this and let yourself get smacked down. Humility, humility, humility.
We have a great Bishop in Charlotte; he very much enjoys being with his priests. And vice versa. This is rare for bishops and priests. I witnessed this same joy after Mass today out front of Saint Peter’s as in the picture I took above.
There was a phrase from his homily that was like a lightning bolt and it immediately burned itself into my memory:
Gioia più grande d’ogni dubbio. “Joy greater than any doubt.”
He explained this as an encounter with the Incarnate Lord Jesus, risen, with the wounds He would have us see.
And we can see with the eyes of faith, with the Eucharist.
“My Lord and my God!”
That’s not an arrogant possessiveness, he said, but rather speaks to the goodness and kindness of Jesus.
Great insights, really.
Too long of a homily, so, just some bullet points:
Personages in this homily include Mary of spikenard fame, Lazarus, Judas, Jesus, and, as a modern example in the homily, Arnaud Beltrame.
I’ve retranslated the bit about letting Mary keep the spikenard for some unknown future date of Jesus’ burial, which makes zero sense as this is not what the Greek says and, at any rate, she has already poured this out on Jesus. What Jesus says is that she is be left alone for she has been keeping this spikenard right along for burial of Jesus whenever that might be, and now the time has come for anointing His corpse, as it were, for He is presently to be buried. Jesus and Mary of the spikenard team up, in other words, to accuse those present and the others in the crowd who were in those seconds plotting to betray and to kill Jesus, and not only Jesus, but also Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Why translators don’t want to see the ferocity of Jesus and Mary of the spikenard when the ferocity of the others such as Judas – in all his explosively murderous ferocity is exploding from the page and right across the centuries I do not know. Fear? Cowardice? Let’s all be nice!? I don’t know.
Update: I am totally amazed at this scene in a way that I’ve never been. This is a daily experience for me. The electrifying immediacy of Jesus’ purpose to stand in our place, to lay down his life for us, is gripping my heart and soul. It’s like I’m a totally unworthy and an utterly useless bystander way back in the day, understanding what is going on, horrified at the evil possessing Judas, but knowing my own weakness at the same time, but watching from the distance of centuries, but like it’s happening all the time in our own day, like I’m not supposed to be such a bystander, like I want to be in solidarity with Jesus as He is in solidarity with us, but wondering how this is going to come about, watching, praying. Isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do? I feel like I’ve wasted my whole life since this is only coming to me with such ferocious immediacy now. Having said that, watch me fall asleep like Peter, James and John in Gethsemane. But Jesus is good and kind. He says: Arise! Let us be going! Behold! My betrayer is at hand!
Too long for an audio. Just some bullet points.
It was when I said those last words Jesus making all things new that I choked up altogether, barely getting out that Jesus loves us so very much. I love preaching, love being a priest, because it’s all about Jesus.
O.K. I forgot to erase the files from the flash card for a while. So, that was that.
Jesus: Abraham rejoiced to see my day (making Jesus really old because he continued to live – as souls do – after death, as life is changed, not ended).
Crowd: You are not yet 50 years old (trying to make Jesus the God-Man really something like a couple thousand years old, going the other direction).
Jesus: Before Abraham was, I AM (with Jesus taking them up on the reverse dating and going a step farther into the past, and not only this, but using the name, title, description, whatever, for God, I AM, of burning bush fame).
Jesus goes way, way, way out of His way to antagonize his adversaries to the point that they pick up rocks to stone Him to death. And they will kill Him, as we all did by way of original sin and our own personal rubbish.
Jesus doesn’t leave us in our dumbed down stupidity, but rather lets us know exactly where we are at so that we can instead be on our way to heaven in His grace by way of repentance and humble thanksgiving.
P.S. There are a multitude of really evil Scripture commentators who say that Jesus never anywhere in the Gospels “claims” to be God. But actually, Jesus is everywhere doing this (with the Father and the Holy Spirit). Everywhere, all the time, blatantly, explicitly. That kind of lying is to be expected by the hateful posing as “believers” who take special glee in scandalizing the faithful, some of whom, mind you, take scandal and with ethereal sophistication say, “But the experts say that Jesus isn’t divine or didn’t know He was divine.” Hey! I know! People can read the Gospels with love and see what’s actually there. It can be done in our Lord’s grace.
The key of knowledge:
Because Jesus, God, who is I AM before Abraham, loves us so very much.
My neighbor at the hermitage, in taking a look at this painting of Jesus, said the same exact thing I said about it, that Jesus has a super snarky look on His face, enthusiastic, but with the effect of implying to the onlooker: “You are just sooooo dead! Hah!” As in: As the Master so the disciple, and isn’t that really cool?! Anyway, I am just so very happy that we are free in the Truth Incarnate, free in Jesus.
Jesus: My Father and I are working for your re-creation so that you might live.
His killers: So, alright then; we’re going to kill you.
This is how it always is, for Jesus, for His disciples. Has it ever happened to you?
This was the homily at Prince of Peace up in Robbinsville this Sunday. Perhaps I got carried away. But I like it when that happens. And… and.. shorter than my usual.
Don’t be afraid!
O.K. Time for Confessions and Mass at Holy Redeemer and Andrews. Then Communion Calls all over both counties. Have a great Sunday of Lent.
I love the singing of this guy in the above video belting out the first words of the Shema. Wow! That’s a bit aggressive. But, hey! Error has no rights, and this guy is right. Good for him! Great evangelization! I love it. Hah! He’s looking over not to the Temple Mount or the Dome of the Rock, but over to the synagogue inside Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (do you see the tower?) where yours truly went to school. Unlike all the rest of priests and sisters at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem, I would walk across this valley and back again every day. Everyone knew me by my first name.
Anyway, it’s been a while since I put up any homilies. I better just put one up just to do it. This one is from yesterday. It’s about listening. I should listen to what I myself preach. Yikes! Jesus cites this commandment of listening as the First Commandment. Yikes!
The movie is by Ignatius Press. Came out a few years ago.
I wish there was a common calendar for the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass. Polycarp falls on different days. Of course, that also means you could celebrate him twice, or, unfortunately, not at all, depending.
There have been a couple of boys over the years that I knew who took the name Polycarp for a Confirmation name, one in my own Confirmation group when I was a kid back in Minnesota, and another in one of my parishes in the outback of Australia. Good for them.
Saint Polycarp was a bishop and a martyr – imagine that: a bishop and martyr – burned at the stake. Today’s Mass was offered for the Bishop of this diocese.
Polycarp is also the name of a character in Jackass for the Hour, though he has the nickname of Carpe Diem.
Here’s the homily:
Here’s the prayer of Bishop Polycarp just before he was put to death:
O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.
No recording. Sorry. Just a quick point about this being an evil generation that seeks a sign. Seeking a sign is evil.
Look. God’s love is all around us for all to see. Do we see it? If we do, why do we seek a sign? Isn’t Jesus’ love a sign? Jesus healed people, exorcised demons, raised people from the dead, preached the good news in all truth and justice with no political correctness. Do we see the love? The love is the sign. Those who seek a sign see no love. They condemn themselves.
Jesus’ parable in Luke about the Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham and Dives in hell is similar to this. Abraham says to the deceitful ploy of Dives in hell: “No, if they do not accept Moses and the Prophets they will not accept the faith even if someone should rise from the dead. Now THAT is a description of self-absorbed and hate. Yep.
See the love. Look for it in the right place. Look on the instrument of torture and death, the Cross. Look for it in the arms of Mary. Do you see it yet? Love. The sign.
Sorry, no recording. I guess I was a bit clutzy in trying to press the recorder button.
An example of the last one can already be seen in this world from time to time. For instance, a condescending soup-ladle guy at the soup kitchen ladling out soup ever so condescendingly might count his work as a good work for which he can congratulate himself before God and man, but the guy to whom he is giving the soup might well just throw it in his face, disgusted to be treated not even as a least brother, but simply as a tool by which the ladling guy congratulates himself. Don’t. Want. That.