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Celebrating the Lords

Is. 52:13-53:12
Heb. 4:14-16; 5; 7-9
Jn. 18: 1-19; 42

Cycle A 14 April 2017

We are exceptionally good
at seeing the fault in others
but we are exceptionally
adept at ignoring it in
The book "I'm OK; You're
OK" and the line from a
song: "I am beautiful in
every single way and
your words can't get me
down" are the best
representative of "the
culture of exculpation."

Self-invention and self-

assertion are winning in
the cultural debate: who
are you to tell me?
Nothing wrong with me!
Effectively such mindset drags
the self down, dulling the pain
of self-consciousness. In turn
we make God of ourselves,
pretending to be absolute,
flawless, impervious to
John in the Prologue to his
Gospel calls Jesus "the
Light of the world. . . The
Light that shines in
darkness and the darkness
has not overcome it."
(Jn. 1: 4-5)
In John's version of the
Passion, during Jesus'
conversation with Pilate
about his kingship, Jesus
admits his being king and his
mission is "to bear witness to
the truth."
Light is wonderful in the
measure that it enlightens and

However. It can also be

disconcerting. The full glare
of the sun reveals every flaw
and imperfection.

When we invite Jesus

into our life, we are inviting
the Light into our life.
Wonderful! Illuminating!
Yes, but this illumination can
also be frightening because
Jesus will shine his light
over every nook and corner
of our life.
When Jesus comes into your
life, he wants to dominate
your life and wants to enter
into every corner of your life.
The unpleasant comes out
clear in one's "secretly moral
Our gathering tonight is "a
celebration" of the Lord's
Passion? Even in its
surrealist depiction of the
Passion by Mel Gibson?

What is there to celebrate

with the Passion?
The Cross used to be an
instrument of Roman torture.
We are meant to see in
the Cross and his
Passion not only its
violent image but the
ugliness of the various
faces of our human
This panoply of all sorts of human
dysfunctions brought Jesus to the Cross.

In the light of Jesus' Passion,

all the vermin of sin is revealed
so that the Cross is God's
judgement on the world.
So in the light of the Cross of
Jesus, one can no longer say of
himself "I'm OK; You're OK!"

As Peter said plainly to the Jews:

"The Author of Life came and you
killed him!"

Dante saw in
his life, helped
by St. Lucy,
that the only
way up is

When we live in convenient

darkness, unaware of our sins,
we will never make spiritual
progress. We need the Light,
however painful it is.
Once that Light reveals
to us our sins and
dysfunctions, then we
can begin to rise!

St. Paul in Phil. 2: 7-11

recognized this double movement
of the Lord's Passion: his going
down (kenosis; self-emptying) . . .
And his going up (exaltation).
What we discover in the Cross
of Jesus is our own sins but we
also meet the Divine Mercy of
the Redeemer who has taken
our own sin upon himself in
order to swallow it up.
We have found
in the Cross
the way down
and the way
That is why we don't celebrate the
Lord's Passion in sorrow and
mourning as one who have no
hope but in quiet and silent
contrition for our sins trusting in
God's forgiveness and his
abundant mercy.
Rather "We should glory in
the Cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, for he is our
salvation, our life and our
resurrection; through him
we are saved and made free.
(Gal. 6: 14)

Stay at that Cross of


Let it shed light in the dark corners in

you and at the same time allow
yourself to be touched by the enduring
Love of the Divine Mercy!