Author Topic: The Passion of Jesus Christ Tells the Human Story  (Read 671 times)

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Offline martina

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The Passion of Jesus Christ Tells the Human Story.
(Homily for March 25, 2018).

“The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:5-6. 

The best way to read the Bible and indeed the only way to read the Bible is to read ourselves into it, putting ourselves in the shoes of the characters within the Biblical stories thereby making the Bible become our examination of conscience. When we try to place ourselves in the characters of today’s Passion Narrative, we cannot but see how real the story becomes and how it contains so many lessons for us even today.

Our people say that it is the rat inside the house that goes to inform other rats outside that there is food in the house. The enemy outside cannot succeed without the permission or cooperation of the enemy inside. Again, in pidgin, there is the saying: “na who know man nai dey kill am.” All these boils down to the person of Judas Iscariot. But wait, before you begin to judge him, why not ask: “Haven’t I betrayed my close friends in the past?” “Don’t I sit down to gossip about people very close to me using the secrets I know about them against them?”

Our people also say: “Money talks, bullshit walks.” What was Judas’ motivation for selling Jesus? Money. The love of money is no doubt the root of all evils. 1st Timothy 6:10. Money by itself is good but the love of money is very bad. The greatest commandment and indeed the summary of all the commandments is to Love God and our neighbour as ourselves. Mark 12:30-31. Our love for money should never greater than our love for God and neighbour otherwise we would do worse than Judas Iscariot.

Always remember that on the day of your birth, you brought nothing to this world and the day you die, you would take nothing with you. Let this thought never leave your heart. all your efforts to grab, accumulate and possess which sometimes lead you to fight others, keep malice, insult or keep enemies are useless because in the end, you will have to watch and see how every dime you have will go away. Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. How much of that money did he spend?

Learn from the woman who anointed Jesus with a very expensive ointment. She represents those who give their very best to God; choristers who sing for free every Sunday not minding the huge sacrifices they make to practice; men and women who give themselves to the work of God serving in various capacities, contributing their quota for the church to grow and so on. Of course, they never find it easy, like this woman, you will be ridiculed for wasting, insulted and called names but don’t stop because nothing shall go with you on the day you die. Someone once visited the seminary and upon seeing a crop of handsome, young, intelligent and energetic men willing to offer their lives as priests, she exclaimed: “What a waste!”

Jesus gave us his very body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. This was the height of his generosity. Why am I so stingy with things that I didn’t even bring to this world in the first place? If after reading today’s Passion Narrative, I still find it difficult to give and share with the poor, it means something is wrong with me. Jesus not only gave, he taught us how to live. Because he gave of himself, he would every ground to judge us at the end of our lives for refusing to give. “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Matthew 25:41-43.

Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray but instead, they started sleeping. How deep and serious is my prayer life? Am I able to watch for one hour with Jesus every day? By the way see how Jesus prayed: “Abba Father … remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36. Doesn’t this teach me how to pray? Why do I try to command God in my prayer? Wouldn’t it be nice if I add this clause whenever I make a request of God; to do not as I will but as He wills instead?

When our prayer life is weak, we cannot withstand the enemy. Like the disciples who ran away at the arrest of Jesus, we flee from the devil out of fear. We become so scared that we even deny Jesus like Peter who denied Jesus after boasting. This week is called holy. Use this week to the fullest that it may become for you a call to a deeper prayer life. The richer our prayer life becomes, the more we live above sin, above evil and above fear.

Pilate knew Jesus was innocent “for he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.” Mark 15:10. But just like you and me, he was more afraid of the crowd than the truth. He acted against his conscience to please the crowd and to secure his job. If I was Pilate, what would I have done differently?

In conclusion, the Passion Narrative teaches us a lot about ourselves. The bitter truth is humanity has not changed at all since the time of Jesus. We are still ruled by money, we still betray one another, we are still stingy, we do not pray well, and we often act to please the crowd, in short we are often crowd people, we do things not because it is right but because everyone is doing it. Like I once noted, if Jesus were to come back again as man, we would still kill him again. Do not repeat history. Change today. Become a better person.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, free me from the love of money and the desire to please people. Increase my love and devotion to you especially during this holy week. Amen.

Happy Palm Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Palm Sunday. Year B. Bible Study: Isaiah 42:1-7 and John 12:1-11).

Fr. Abu.

Offline Rahul0002

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