Friends, Christ acts as an advocate for our souls through the cosmos-reorienting events of his death and Resurrection, the forging of a connection between heaven and earth. Our brother who walked the same ground and breathed the same air is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Now, in his heavenly advocacy, we find extraordinary hope.
Friends, a blessed and peaceful Easter to you!
Although grave sites are known to be quiet places of reflection, God, through his sovereign power, overcame the corruption of sin by his Resurrection from the dead this Easter morning. From his empty tomb, we learn that God doesn’t let death have the last word—and thereupon hangs the tale of Easter.
Friends, one of the best known stories in Western culture is the narrative of Christ’s Passion and death. However, this very familiarity can block our understanding of the account. What I want to do in this homily is to draw your attention to three odd details of Mark’s Gospel, each of which packs a punch spiritually.
Friends, one of the most fundamental beliefs of the Biblical Israelites is that God is a covenant-maker. He formed his people through a series of agreements and contracts saying, “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people.” This law comes into our hearts precisely through the Eucharist, which is nothing other than a representation of the cross of Jesus.
Friends, our Gospel for today contains one of the most important lines in the entire Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” To “believe” here means much more than to accept the truth of an idea; it is to enter into the space opened up by the death of the Son of God. When you do that, you are born again; when you do that, you have eternal life.
Friends, I have often said that Lent is a bit like basic training for the military or summer workouts for a football team—it is a chance to get back to the fundamentals of the faith, namely, the Ten Commandments. In this homily, I look at each of the Ten Commandments, using them as an examination of conscience for this Lenten season.
Friends, if the intention of an author is to convince people to read and think about what he’s written, the author of Sunday's first reading has done his job well. We hear the deeply troubling story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. How do we reconcile God’s love with his asking Abraham to kill his own son? How should we take the fact that Abraham was willing to follow through with it? And what does this mean for how we must order our own lives?
Friends, Lent is a marvelous opportunity to deepen our lives of prayer, to temper our desires for food and drink, and to engage in a graced time of alms giving. Let’s use this season to get our bodies and our behavior patterns in order, to show our love and service in very concrete ways.