April 5, 2009


Even Suffering and Death Cannot Overpower God's Love For Us | A Palm Sunday Homily (Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, April 5, 2009, Ignatius Insight)

Here is the truth: the Lord God suffered and died to save us from sin and death therefore we are not disgraced! Salvation does not come from us willing it; salvation comes from only one Source: the One True God--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of Peter, James and John; the God of Muslims, Jews and Atheists—and He is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ!

He is the God of Isaiah, who foretold His coming and who tells us that the Savior gave his back to those who beat him, his cheeks to those who plucked his beard, his face to buffets and spitting. He is the God of Saint Paul who tells us that His name is above every other name, and that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend in heaven, on earth and in Hell, and that every tongue proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.

When we compromise our Catholic faith out of arrogance, we join our voices to an anemic culture that shouts, "Crucify Him!"

When we start believing in the false god of our misinformed conscience, we join with this culture of death in driving the nails deeper into the body of Christ.

When we substitute our religious faith for a nebulous "spirituality" that ignores the Holy Eucharist as the source and center of our faith, we look up at the crucified Christ and say with the Scribes and Pharisees, "Save Yourself."

The truth and beauty of Sacred Scripture cries out to us loud and clear that the idols of men are merely silver and gold, the work of human hands. The psalmist describes the fruits of this culture: "they have mouths but they cannot speak; they have eyes but they cannot see; they have ears but they cannot hear ... no sound comes from their throats. Their makers will come to be like them and so will all who trust in them."

The hardest part of the Crucifixion for even the faithful to accept is not that God died but that we are no longer disgraced by our mortality and immorality because God disgraced Himself on the Cross: My Lord, My Lord, why hast Thou forsaken Me? If even God in mortal form despaired of His love then more can not be expected of mere men. Thus was God reconciled to his creatures.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2009 8:24 AM
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