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Who is really on trial here?    Or rather, what is on trial here?

On the surface, it is Jesus; but as good Catholics, we are not biblical literalists, but sacramentalists, so we look for the invisible reality beyond the visible words.

And it is the Human Condition that is on trial; and it is the human condition that stands convicted.  Yet, redemption is always at hand.

We take all the gospels for the day, and what do we experience.

 

The Human condition of fickleness and capriciousness; being controlled by our greed, by our anger, by our fears. The Human condition of denial and betrayal, shame.  The human condition of the need to be in control and to amass power;  The human condition, the sinfulness that put Jesus to death.  The human condition that all of us experience and live each day.

As in Jesus’ day, so it is this day, our human condition causes so much suffering and pain for us and for others.

We are still fickle and capricious.  If you don’t believe, watch the coming political battles for the presidential election.  We still let ourselves be governed by our fears and anger, so we gossip, we hoard and hold onto things; we lie, we cheat.

Marriages and families get worn down; people die from hunger, from lack of safe water, from violence; because we think we cannot help, or worse, we remain indifferent to these children of God.

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Yet, in the midst of this Passion of Jesus, he remains firm; stalwart, focussed.  He is not indifferent, his emotions are very much there; but as St. Paul would say, he lives in Spirit, not the flesh.

Jesus remains fixed on the Father’s love and the trust that the Father’s love will endure and change us; save us.

There!  That is our hope too.

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Each of us faces that choice;  I do not believe anyone here truly wants to suffer nor cause suffering; but we somehow have forgotten what we are called to.  We are called to choose love;  We are called to choose faith.  We are called to trust that the Father is in charge, the Father wants us to prosper and thrive as family, as community and as persons.  We are called to remain firm!  We are called to recognize our weaknesses, our conditions and die to those; and rise to new life.

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A new life in which we give of ourselves, in which we learn to forgive others; in which we have hope in the goodness of others; in which we see beauty in this world.

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Will it stop all the suffering?  Clearly not, because not all people choose the path of Christ.

But, in Christ, through Christ and with Christ, we are redeemed and we are given the grace to endure and not be overwhelmed, not be controlled by our human condition.

Rather, we are exonerated, and liberated to become Human Persons.

Announce it

No longer do we need be slaves to our whims and emotions, but we can make the best decisions for the good of all, when we are full of grace.

Love and Trust

I first had to grasp for myself what “Salvation” meant…then the Cross of Jesus began to make more sense to me.  Everything began to make more sense for me.

Me and the Father…

When I was on my sabbatical retreat a couple of years ago, I had this sense, impression if you will of the Father right along side of me.  It was really unique for me.  And I had this impression one time of the Father laughing at me, because my ego was really trying to exert itself.

The Father laughing at me, not with me, but at me.  But it wasn’t a cruel thing, because it was downright funny stupid what I was trying to do.  This changed me.

The Father became even more tangible, more close, more involved.  Interestingly, it was the sense of the Father that was the most potent, less so the Spirit or the Son.  It was what I needed at the time.

Unity, Unity Unity

I know that I can get reallllllly caught up in my own busy-ness.  I think I am soooooo busy, and nobody else is as busy as me!  HA!   God will kick me to get my attention that there are others who are burdened too.

Living the mystery

and it also dawned on me that this man was a royal official, a man probably used to people obeying his commands; and Jesus did not.  So maybe he also learned a little humility??

God saves.  God wants to save the world.  God desires that we be saved.

Saved from what?  The suffering we cause because we are selfish and self-centered; because we hold onto our anger and let it control us; because our fears keep us down; because we let our sadness destroy our hope.

The Son of God was sent to save the world.

It may sound cliche, but that path, the way Father saves us, in the Son through the Holy Spirit is Love.

Remember, Love is that willingness, that choice to see the good in others and be willing to give of ourselves for that good.

This is love.

 

So Love is always directed outward, towards another.

God so loved the world, that he sent to the world the beloved Son

Jesus loved us and loved us to the end, so much so that he willingly accepted death, death on a cross.

 

Yet, we know this was not the end.  We as Catholics, as Christians, we are who we are through the resurrection.  Ultimate sign, if you will, of the Father’s infinite love of us.

 

Even after humanity rejected God, again, the Father gave back to us the beloved Son; so that we will know of Love;

So that we will live in Love.  So that we will live the salvation God has given to us, to all.

 

So wherever there is Love, the choice to give of self for another, there is salvation; living and breathing.

I saw Love in our parish last weekend, as an older brother willingly served at mass so as to help his little brother be more comfortable.

I experienced salvation last weekend as I saw adults willingly give of their saturday to cook and serve for those 400 kids.

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Love and salvation are experienced each and every time we forgive one another and ask for forgiveness.

Love and salvation are experienced each and every time we hold our tongues, and listen to another.

Love and salvation are experienced when we take the courage to speak out for justice for the poor and underserved in our community.

Love and salvation is when we know to say “no” and say “yes”.

Salvation is to allow ourselves to be humble and recognize we cannot control anyone else, only ourselves.

And each time that we choose to Love, we reduce the suffering in this world.  Each time we choose to give of ourselves and help another, we reduce the pain that someone may be experiencing; or even what we ourselves may be experiencing.

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And this is what we celebrate at the Eucharist.  This is what we receive so as to share.  Love, Salvation, may visible and tangible in the word that is proclaimed; in the bread and wine that become the body and blood of Christ;

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Given to us, because God so loves us, that he Sends his beloved Son to us, so that we can work with the Father, and save the world.

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