30 March 2013

A Prayer for the Easter Season

An Easter Gratitude Prayer

(To be prayed especially btw now and Pentecost Sunday):

Father, our Abundant Provider and generous Lord: In You I live and move and have my being. Everything I am and everything I have is Your blessing. This day I offer it all to Your service. 

Thank you, Lord, for this season of my life, for the gifts You have given me, for those I love and who love me in return. 

Thank You, Lord, for Your creation, for Your revelation in scripture, for our salvation in Christ Jesus, for the holiness I await in the coming of the Holy Spirit, and for the Church that will rise from the tongues of fire. Make gratitude my constant prayer, Father, so that I may live as a Living Blessing for others. 

I ask all these in name of our Easter Lord, Jesus Christ! Amen. 

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Good Friday homily???

OK. . .curiousity is getting the better of me:

My Good Friday homily got no response at all from the congregation, from Facebook, or from HA readers.

Was it that bad?

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A little Holy Saturday docility seems to be in order

For all those freakin' out about Pope Francis and his rubric-breaking Holy Thursday liturgy, please take a moment. . .read, reflect, pray. . .

From St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologica II.II.49.3 ("Whether docility should be counted as a part of prudence":

I answer that. . .prudence is concerned with particular matters of action, and since such matters are of infinite variety, no one man can consider them all sufficiently; nor can this be done quickly, for it requires length of time. Hence in matters of prudence man stands in very great need of being taught by others, especially by old folk who have acquired a sane understanding of the ends in practical matters. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 11): "It is right to pay no less attention to the undemonstrated assertions and opinions of such persons as are experienced, older than we are, and prudent, than to their demonstrations, for their experience gives them an insight into principles." Thus it is written (Proverbs 3:5): "Lean not on thy own prudence," and (Sirach 6:35): "Stand in the multitude of the ancients" (i.e. the old men), "that are wise, and join thyself from thy heart to their wisdom." Now it is a mark of docility to be ready to be taught: and consequently docility is fittingly reckoned a part of prudence.

My point here is this: part of the ministry of Peter is to teach. We need to be good students and learn what the Holy Father is trying to teach us. Nothing says we have to like the lesson, agree with it, or even come to believe that the lesson is a good one. It might not be. But docility (as a part of prudence) requires that we at least take a deep breath, set aside our objections, and pay attention.

(Let me add here: anyone who knows me well will snort out loud to hear that I'm preaching docility.  Eight years in a secular humanities grad program does not prepare one for a life of docile learning. Yes, the irony of me posting on prudence and docility is rich.  Despite the irony, truth is truth.) 

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29 March 2013

The Cross: do you understand?

One question: do you really, truly understand what Good Friday is all about?

"I do not wish to add too many words. One word should suffice this evening, that is the Cross itself. The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world. Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness. It is also reveals a judgment, namely that God, in judging us, loves us. In judging us, he loves us. If I embrace his love then I am saved, if I refuse it, then I am condemned, not by him, but my own self, because God never condemns, he only loves and saves."

He only loves and saves b/c it is His nature to love and save. Whether we receive this love and salvation is up to us. . .choose.

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He's the Holy Father!

No one (in his right mind) would ever accuse me of being loosey-goosey with the rubrics.  I've been on the receiving end of more clerical dismissiveness about following the basic rules of liturgical prayer than any Poor Ole Friar should ever have to endure (poor me). 

So, when our Holy Father washed the feet of two women at that youth prison in Rome, I cringed slightly. . .and then I got over it.  Yes, the Liturgical Progs will use this violation of the rubrics as an excuse to violate their least favorite rubrics. . .but, come on, let's be candid here: they were going to do that anyway. All F1 did was make their excuses a tiny bit easier to invent.

That the Holy Father, Francis, washed the feet of young men and women on his first Holy Thursday as Pope, should call our minds and hearts to the simple and spontaneous gesture of love, affection, forgiveness and mercy of the Bishop of Rome, more than to legalistic, liturgical or canonical discussions.

If you find yourself thinking that this explanation is a bad thing, a wrong way of seeing our mission, or just plain dumb. . .well, you might need a refresher course in what we claim to be doing down here amongst our fellow sinners.

Pope Francis is our Holy Father. He's the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Supreme Pontiff, etc., etc. Do not fall into the Prog Trap of picking and choosing which pope you will obey and which one you will ignore.

BXVI has pledged his obedience to F1.  Will you refuse to do the same?

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. . .to be buried with Christ

Good Friday 2013
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

His tomb is close by. Joseph of Arimathea, the one who first came to him at night, is coming now in the light of day to take his body down from the cross. Pilate has given him permission. In the light of day, Joseph is bringing with him a one hundred pound mixture of myrrh and aloes, reams of burial cloth, and. . .what else? Grief? Regret? Hope? What else will he bury in that garden tomb? In the light of day, how long can Joseph keep his love for Christ hidden? 'Til he rolls the stone across the grave? Whether we come to Christ under the cover of darkness or in the bright of day, can we keep our love for him a secret? The tomb is close by. The tomb is always close by. Death will have one victory, a passing victory: the grave. So, we must decide: what else will we bury with our passing? Grief? Regret? Hope? Christ went to the cross heavy-loaded with the sins of the world—having emptied himself to make room, he went burdened to the cross with the failures of fallen creation. For this and more, we love him. Can we keep our love hidden, a secret? Will we bury it with our passing, unspoken? In the light of day, what do you bring to be buried with Christ? 

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"Post birth abortion"

When we choose sin--especially the darkest of sins--over and over again, the Darkness starts to look like the Light, and we are capable of the most barbarous acts in the name of doing the Good.

For example: a Planned Parenthood official can't bring herself to say that a baby who survives a botched abortion should be treated as a patient and given medical care.  

"Post birth abortion" is the trendy new euphemism for what sane people call "murder."

Are we just pagans with better hygiene and technology?

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28 March 2013

What Holy Thursday teaches us. . .

Office of Readings: Holy Thursday
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

All that we read and hear read in these Holy Thursday liturgies teach us to how to see our Lord's death. If we were to watch him die on the cross as a criminal, we would have nothing to celebrate. He is dead. If we were see him die as just a man, as this morning's sin-offering, we would have to prepare another victim to sacrifice for tomorrow's sins. If we were to see him die as a god, then nothing human is healed by his dying. Holy Thursday teaches us to see our Lord's death in truth. He is a heretic to the Jews. A criminal to the Romans. Just a man to Jew and Gentile alike. But for us, he is the Son of God and the Son of Man, offered once for all on the altar of the Cross as a sin-offering for the whole world. “When perfected [through obedience], he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. . .” 

Holy Thursday teaches us how an execution became a sacrifice and how a sacrifice becomes a on-going feast for giving thanks. When Jesus and his disciples gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, they are doing more—much more—than honoring an ancient Jewish custom. For three years now, Jesus has reminded his disciples—in word and deed—that everything he says and does is moving them all toward a single goal: the fulfillment of the Covenant btw Abraham and God the Father. Every sermon, every hostile exchange with the Pharisees, every healing miracle, everything he has said and done fulfills scriptural prophecy and points to his birth as the coming of the Kingdom. This last celebration of Passover in Jerusalem is no different. It too is a prophetic sign of who and what he is for us. When Jesus and his friends recline at table to begin the feast, they know that what they are remembering is God's rescue of His people from centuries of Egyptian slavery. Bread for the feast is unleavened b/c there is no time to wait for it to rise. The wine is watered b/c they need to be clear-headed for their escape. They are girded for travel and lightly packed. Jesus lifts the bread and says, “This is my Body.” He lifts the cup of wine, “This is my Blood.” At that moment, what were the disciples thinking? Knowing full well what the Passover means—freedom from slavery—did they understand that the Lord was telling them that their ancestral meal of remembrance was now a feast of freedom? That eating his Body and Blood would free them from sin and death? Later, after Jesus' execution, did they make the connection btw ritually sacrificing a lamb in the temple with his sacrifice on the cross? 

Holy Thursday teaches us that the Roman execution of Jesus is a Jewish sacrifice that the Risen Christ transforms into a feast of thanksgiving—a New Covenant Passover celebration that celebrates our rescue from slavery to sin. How does a Roman execution become a Christian feast? When the one executed is the Son of God and Son of Man. When the one whose body and blood we eat and drink is presented to God as a sacrifice, a sin-offering made once for all. And when we are commanded to remember this sacrifice, to participate in it by taking into our own bodies the Body and Blood of the one sacrificed for us. Holy Thursday teaches us that Jesus the Christ has fulfilled the promises and obligations of the Covenant made btw Abraham and God the Father, establishing for us a New Covenant of grace, of freely offered forgiveness for all of our offenses. Knowing this, “. . .let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need.” 

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27 March 2013

Keeping Scandals Quiet. . .for the children

Oh! If only women could be TV producers! If only married men could be TV hosts! None of this would've ever happened. . .yea, right.

This is bad enough on its own, but the scandals aren’t limited to Doctor Who. As the Daily Mail notes, this story is emerging shortly after accusations that longtime BBC television host Jimmy Savile molested as many as 450 people in his lifetime, making him one of the UK’s “most prolific sex offenders,” according to the NSPCC charity group.

The more we hear about what was going on in the era of sexual liberation, the more the Catholic  scandals look like a symptom of the times rather than a special pathology of the Church. The BBC was apparently a hotbed of abuse for underage female and male fans, and revelations about abuse in schools, the Boy Scouts, Jewish organizations and other institutions in which adults regularly interact with youth keep coming to light.

Expect round-the-clock media coverage of these scandals. Expect ringing calls for radical reform in the TV industry training programs. Expect righteous denunciations of hypocrisy  every time a TV talking head makes a moral judgment. . .

Or, expect pretty much what we heard and seen already about these scandals. . .not much.

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A new article from HPR

Check out the most issue of Homiletics and Pastoral Review. . .

My friend, Ann "Not a Mushroom" Morrill,* has published a wonderful article titled, "Darkness, the Theological Virtues, and Finding the Inflection Point."

An excerpt:

According to many Catholic theologians, there are two purifications in the spiritual life: a purification of the sense, and a purification of the spirit. The purification of the sense is brought on by loss of friends, fortune and the like.  In this, we are deprived of consolations in order to bring us to trust in God more than in our own resources. In this purification, temptations, which involve chastity and patience, are frequent.

The purification of the spirit involves the higher levels of the soul, so the temptation involved in it are against the theological virtues.  These temptations are, by their nature, greater than temptations involving patience, although patience is also involved in their resolution.

Go read the whole thing! And please leave Ann a comment. . .

* I misspelled Ann's last name in the original post.  Now corrected!

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Just let it go

NB. Didn't get to preach this one. . .today's Mass was for the schoolchildren of St. Dominic's. I didn't know this. . .so, I had to wing it.

Wednesday of Holy Week 2013
Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

Just two days ago, Jesus allowed Lazarus' sister, Mary, to anoint his feet with funereal oil. A prophetic sign that his last week among us had begun. Yesterday, he sat at table with his most trusted friends and watched as Satan took possession of Judas, his betrayer. He prophesied to Peter that he would deny him three times before dawn. Today, Judas, in a moment of panicked clarity, realizes that Jesus knows who will sell him to his enemies. . .for the price of a murdered slave. “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answers, “You have said so.” Was he disappointed by this betrayal? Angry? Resigned to its inevitability? Even his warning—“woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed”—sounds a little weak in the face of such a monumental backstabbing. What are we witnessing here? The Son of God emptied himself to become the Son of Man—the first kenosis. Like us in all things but sin. Now, the Son of Man is emptying himself to make room for the sins of the whole human race: every sin ever committed, that's being committed, that will ever be committed. The week before his death on the cross is the week Jesus spent pulling our sins from us. This is our week to let those sins go. 

If you haven't found the courage yet to gather up all your sins and give them to Christ for disposal on the cross, let the events of this holy week harden your resolve to do so. Perhaps you think that confessing your sins is a sign of weakness? That receiving God's mercy and completing a penance is a waste of time? Christ spent his lifetime gathering up the diseases, broken bones, weeping lesions, and blackened hearts of men. He spent his thirty-odd years among us doing nothing else but going out and advertising his Father's freely offered mercy to sinners. Was he lying? Was he crazy? Even when his most trusted friends stabbed him in the back with their petty greed and fear, he kept on pulling in every dark moment of human loss, pain, madness, despair. Even when his own blood ran along the beams of the cross and his last few breaths escaped his lips, he took on the rebellion and thievery of Dismas. Perhaps your sins are greater than those committed by Judas, or Peter? Maybe your rebellions and denials are darker, deeper? If you haven't found the courage yet to gather up all your sins and give them to Christ, let the events of this holy week harden your resolve to do so. 

Reclining at table with the Twelve, Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Eleven of his disciples are shocked. One is not. That one says, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Is Judas being genuine here? Maybe he thinks that his betrayal isn't really all that bad. He's a hero for bringing down a heretical rabbi! Or maybe he knows exactly what he's doing but somehow he manages to set aside this act of treachery and pretend that he hasn't already sold his soul for silver. Judas is the model human sinner. Rarely do we boldly sin; that is, rarely do we act against God's will and revel in the act, daring the consequences. We are more likely to sin shamefully, then make weak excuses for our failures. Like Judas, we can look Jesus in the eye and say with false innocence, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” If we sin like cowards, then we must confess like heroes! In the face of fear, rejection, injury to our pride, we must lay a daredevil's claim to our disobedience, and then hand it all over to Christ. We are not forgiven b/c we deserve to be. We're forgiven b/c we are loved. Despite it all, we are loved and there can be nothing weak or small or shameful about returning that love heavy-loaded with gratitude. Make this week, this Holy Week, all about releasing your grip on sin. Just open your fists and let it all go.

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26 March 2013


Many mendicant thanks to the generous soul who sent me Diogenes Allen's Spiritual Theology.

FYI: someone bought two books from the Wish List that never arrived:

How to Make Homilies Better, Briefer, and Bolder: Tips from a Master Homilist 


Knowing The Love Of Christ: An Introduction to the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas


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On the feminist use of the colon mark



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Cheap-got Doubt

NB. Today is my "day off." No classes today at the seminary. Cleaning, laundry, errands, and an afternoon of catching up on reading that mountain of poetry that threatens to topple over and crush me!

Below, a taste of what I'm reading. . .

Private and Profane

By Marie Ponsot
From loss of the old and lack of the new
From failure to make the right thing do
Save us, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
     From words not the word, from a feckless voice
     From poetic distress and from careless choice
     Exclude our intellects, James Joyce.
From genteel angels and apostles unappalled
From hollywood visions as virgins shawled
Guard our seeing, Grünewald.
     From calling a kettle an existential pot,
     From bodying the ghost of whatever is not,
     John save us, 0 most subtle Scot.
From pace without cadence, from pleasures slip-shod
From eating the pease and rejecting the pod
Wolfgang keep us, lover of God.
     Couperin come with your duple measure
     Alter our minds against banal pleasure.
Dürer direct with strictness our vision
Steady this flesh toward your made precision.
     Mistress of accurate minor pain,
     Lend wit for forbearance, prideless Jane.
From pretending to own what we secretly seek,
From (untimely, discourteous) the turned other cheek,
Protect our honor, Demetrius the Greek.
     From ignorance of structural line and bone
     From passion not pointed on truth alone
     Attract us, painters on Egyptian stone.
     From despair keep us, Aquin’s dumb son;
     From despair keep us, Saint Welcome One;
     From lack of despair keep us, Djuna and John Donne.
That zeal for free will get us in deep,
That the chance to choose be the one we keep
That free will steel self in us against self-defense
That free will repeal in us our last pretense
That free will heal us
     Jeanne d’Arc, Job, Johnnie Skelton,
     Jehan de Beauce, composer Johann,
     Dark John Milton, Charter Oak John,
Strike deep, divide us from cheap-got doubt,
Leap, leap between us and the easy out;
Teach us to seize, to use, to sleep well, to let go;
Let our loves, freed in us, gaudy and graceful, grow.
". . .divide us from cheap-got doubt. . ." Excellent! If there's a phrase that aptly describes our corrupted postmodern reason-addled media culture, this is it. So certain are we of our doubt that doubt comes easily, cheaply. Such doubt is as useless as cheap grace.

I'm thinking of René Descartes and his hard-won doubt. And David Hume and all that he abandoned in an honest pursuit of knowing full and well. Even when they are wrong, they are honestly wrong. Their errors came with sacrifices, real oblations offered to Reason. Not the tacky trinkets postmodern minds throw at their ideological idols to assuage their fetish-guilt.
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25 March 2013

Pope Francis isn't a garden statue

Fr. Longenecker has it exactly right about the media's obsession with F1's poverty and simplicity:

. . .the vast crowds (of mostly rich people) who profess to love [Pope Francis'] simplicity of life are responding sentimentally ['cause that's pretty much the only way they have left to respond, having surrendered their ability to think critically]. There is a syrupy idea that the poor are wonderful just because they’re poor. There is also a very warm hearted feeling toward St Francis, who preached to the birdies and hugged trees and kissed lepers. This sentimental approach to poverty and ministry to the poor is shallow and naive [and dangerous]. It’s the stuff of St Francis statues in the backyard, and the sickly sentimentality of that creepy sixties movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon in which a beautiful young Francis went tumbling through fields of flowers [you mean Franciscans don't spend their days tumbling through flowerbeds and chasing butterflies?!].

[. . .]

The latte sipping crowd who think the Pope is “just marvelous” because he doesn’t go in for the limousine or the trappings of the office are strangely deaf if we suggest that they follow his example. They’re all quiet happy for the Pope to sell off the riches of the church, but they’re not about to have a garage sale [well sure, if he sells off the Church's property and gives that money to the poor, then they won't have to feel bad about not selling their stuff. . .not that they would anyway].

[. . .]

I predict that before too very long he’ll be under attack. The attacks will be vicious and cruel and unfair–like Christopher Hitchen’s famous attack on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Pope Francis may continue to live in poverty and eschew the trappings of the papacy, but no one will notice. The “poverty effect” will be short lived. It will be played down, and if my hunch is right–it will even come under attack. The same members of the secular press who are now licking his hands will turn and bite him. They will say his “poverty” was a sham, a public relations stunt and that he is just another hypocritical Catholic prelate. [The first salvo from the lefty media will come when he says something publicly against their preferred political agenda. . .all this fawning over his poverty will be instantly forgotten.]

We'll see the similar reactions from the Peace and Justice Crowd in the Church when he speaks out against their political idols, especially the ordination of women, same-sex "marriage," and all the other pelvic issues that seem to exercise them beyond reason.

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Empty to be filled. . .

Monday of Holy Week 2013
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we read a portion of Paul's letter to the Philippians, “[Christ] emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness. . .he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” The Son of God empties himself to become the Son of Man. As the Son of God and the Son of Man, the Christ is both human and divine. He poured out his divinity to come among us in flesh and bone; now, this holy week, he pours out his humanity to rejoin his Father, taking with him all who will follow. The first prophetic sign of this kenosis—this emptying out—occurs in Bethany at the beginning of Passover week during a feast thrown in Jesus' honor. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus' feet with a pint of expensive spikenard, a funereal oil used to prepare corpses for burial. Though no one else at the feast seems to understand what Mary is doing, Jesus does. She is anointing his living body before he goes to die on the cross for the sins of the world. This week, he will go to the Place of Skulls, anointed with the stench of the grave.

From today until we shout our first alleluias on Easter morning, we will witness the second kenosis of our Savior, the second time that he freely empties himself out for us. When Mary anoints his feet with $10,000 worth of funeral oil, Judas insincerely objects to the extravagant waste, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” Jesus answers, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” We will not always have the Son of God and Son of Man with us; we will not always have the Christ, flesh and bone, among us. Thus Jesus begins his second kenosis, leaving behind body and blood, accepting the necessity of his death for the salvation of the world. Tomorrow, he will accept the necessity of a double betrayal. Judas will sell him to his enemies, and Peter the Rock will deny him three times. Each day this week, Jesus will accept another detachment from this world, another moment of “letting go,” and loss. By the time he reaches the Place of Skulls, nailed to the cross, he is emptied of life, friendship, loyalty, promise, hope, all that we ourselves—even in our sinfulness—receive as gifts from his Father. Good Friday is good b/c, come the day, we are no longer bound by sin. 

What does Jesus' second kenosis mean for us? How do we follow him in emptying ourselves of all that binds us to this world? First, we must ask: what binds us to this world? Family, friends, plans for the future, the stuff we have and want more of? All of these can and will be lost. None of these is eternal. Are we bound by promises, vows, a determination to live? Also, impermanent, all are fleeting. If you were to be anointed this morning with funeral oils, prepared for burial, what would you need to be freed from in order to enter your grave unattached? Possessions? Sure. Relationships? Yes. How about your sins, your transgressions against God, self, and neighbor? Definitely. How do you follow him in emptying yourself of all that binds you to this world? Surrender, as Christ did, to the inevitability of death, and pour out all that keeps you away from God. Pour out whatever lives on your heart and mind as a parasite. Scrape it off. Rid yourself of obstacles, distractions, accumulated junk, and make room—plenty of room—for the coming of God's Holy Spirit. Empty yourself out by dying to self and find yourself filled with life eternal. 

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24 March 2013

Hosanna! Crucify!

Palm Sunday 2013
Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP
Holy Ghost, Hammond/Our Lady of the Rosary, NOLA

Paul says that Jesus, emptying himself, took on the form of a slave and became one of us to die as one of us for all of us. We can cheer all we want. Wave palms all we want. No one here will ask Jesus to let his cup pass. No one here will volunteer to hang on that cross and let Jesus go free. Are we cowards? No. We know that Jesus must die so that we might live. The certainty of his death is the only possibility of our eternal life. Only he is Son of God, Son of Man; fully human, fully divine. His death pulls us down into the grave and his rising again draws us up with him. Everything that needs to be healed will be healed. All repairs will be made. Nothing will be left broken or hurt. 

But today, just today, knowing what we know about his journey from here to the tomb, even still we must cheer and whistle. And wave palms. And shout “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And we want so much to grab the tail end of his departing scene and pull it back, just yank it back to the garden or the roaring sea or the mountaintop or the desert or to any of the dozens of place where we sat with him to listen to God’s wisdom, to see the radiant glory of his love for us. 

We want him anywhere but here in Jerusalem. He rides to the cross, ya know? And we must cheer. We must cheer because later we will shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” What did we forget between our cheering him into the city and our heckling him to the cross, between our exuberant welcome and our jeering blood lust? To be Christ we must follow Christ. Who wants to follow Christ to the cross? Who wants their flesh torn and bleeding? Who wants the thorns of a mocking crown piercing their scalp? I deny him. I do not know him. No, I’m not his disciple. Never heard of him, never met him. Who? Who? No, sorry, doesn’t ring a bell. 

We’ve come too far for that now, brothers and sisters! That desert was forty days long. Along the way we dropped coffee and tea, booze and cigarettes, TV and shopping, email and chocolate. We dropped gossiping, nagging, sex, meat, cussing. We picked up extra hours of prayer, daily Mass, weekly confession, spiritual reading, volunteer hours, being nice to little brother and sister, obeying mom and dad, obeying husband or wife, extra money in the plate on Sunday. The devil bought out his best temptations to show us our weaknesses and sometimes he won and sometimes we won. But he knows and you need to know if you don’t already: God wins all the time, every time, for all time! And He has given us Easter to prove it. But now…if you will be Christ you must follow Christ. Walk right behind him. Feel the stones. Wipe the spit. Hear the curses and jeers. Taste the salty iron of blood. See the cross on his shoulder. And know that he carries for you the only means of your salvation. The sacrificial victim carries his own altar to the church of the skulls. 

How far will you follow?

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