-The homily from passion Sunday/Palm Sunday is not available
-The readings for Easter Sunday are at USCCB.org >
-I will be preaching at holy Thursday evening mass at 7 PM and Easter Sunday mass at 9:30 AM downstairs and 11 AM mass upstairs
Are you up to celebrating Christian Passover? This question locates our reflections on Holy Thursday to what in fact Jesus was doing. It is clear that as a Jew, a rabbi, and a teacher that Jesus was celebrating the Jewish Passover meal with his disciples. However, it is also clear to the eyes of faith that he was transforming the experience of the Passover meal for his apostles. Jesus clearly was inviting his apostles and thus the church to experience a new Passover meal, a Passover meal with deeper significance: his saving death and resurrection. He was creating sacrament.
In considering sacrament, Eucharist, and the Last Supper,we must consider the Passover. Jesus had the attention of his Jewish brothers at the Passover meal. He knew that they were reflecting upon and celebrating in faith the liberation of God's people from slavery and death in Egypt by the "passing over" of the houses marked with the blood of the lamb. Thus, the function of the Passover ritual with unleavened bread and cup of blessing is the remembering the freedom from oppression and the new life with God (not the Re-dramatization of the Passover event) .
Jesus lays down on top of the passover in signs and words an anticipation of his saving death and resurrection which liberates the human family from the oppression of death and sin and ushers in the kingdom of God and eternal life in reconciliation with God. Onto the passover bread and cup he imposes and exposes the powerful presence of his own sacrificial life and love, his death and resurrection. He opens up and widens the window of the Passover bread and cup and turns them into access points for the church to be present to his saving grace. So the Eucharist is not simply the miracle of the Last Supper, it is not simply a dramatic and bloodless re-enactment of Calvary, but it is the sacramental sign and thus "access point" to the passing over from death without God to life with and in God through Jesus Christ. Paschal (of the lamb) Mystery!
Sacrament, then, becomes a passing over or passing through in which the believer is introduced into the life of God made accessible and the reality of God, Communion, is inserted into the life of the believer. That is liberating and saving grace. Communion!
Is that what we are doing here? I dont know. Are we simply re-enacting the Last Supper in order to get ahold of the Sacred and miaculous Body of Jesus Christ, the lamb who was slain? I think not. That would be to fall short of God's gift to all of us. What we are called to do in sacrament is to remember - to hear, touch, see, and taste the bread and wine of the new covenantv( now His Body and Blood) - Jesus' passing over from sin and death (which is the realm of this world) to life Eternal in the Kingdom of God - Salvation, Sacrament, grace, Communion.
And it is suppose to change us....every time! Woohoo. That's all I've got to say.
See Holy Thursday above. Not much else to say.
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!