Millions are losing their jobs every week, bumped off the final rung of an economic ladder with no safety net below to catch them. Food, shelter, and even community are rapidly disappearing. So what if this Sunday we didn’t focus on getting ourselves out of hell, and looked instead to getting everyone else out. What if this Sunday mercy didn’t mean a free pass when you died, but rather the responsibility to be for others what you hope God is for you - there when you need it most.
The Catholic Church has long insisted that its priests be celibate and that homosexual acts are forbidden. But how many of its priests, bishops, and cardinals are gay?
The simple fact of this Gospel is that Christ is Risen, that death never gets the last word, and that beyond all pain, and suffering, and brokenness of this temporal world, there is an eternal light, and the Source of that light is with us always. This Gospel says that even ordinary, regular people who were labeled “prostitute” or who came from poor, laboring backgrounds, were eligible to be witnesses to something as grand and miraculous as Jesus Christ’s journey on this earth. You, too, are eligible. Remember that this glorious Resurrection is still happening, public Mass or no public Mass. Jesus Christ and His sacrifices defy time and space, and the graces wrapped up in the cross are still yours to grab onto.
I see the passion of Jesus as a consequence of his mission. Love, inclusion, forgiveness freely given are dangerous messages that many reject. Jesus’ commitment to his mission led to conflict with “the authorities” and eventually to his passion and death. While the life and death of Jesus was unique and redemptive of itself, it is also a familiar human dynamic. Think of people such as Martin Luther King and Oscar Romero, to name just two, who were so committed to their mission, they accepted the danger and continued to speak the truth even to the point of death. They too were killed because, like Jesus, their message was a radical truth that many could not accept. Their deaths, contribute to the redemption of the world because they continue the mission of Jesus.
Jesus’ teachings about raising up the lowly and the marginalized were revolutionary, but Jesus wasn’t leading the political revolution that the Messianic prophecies foretold. Maybe Judas wasn’t ready for the overthrow of hierarchy that Jesus proposed. And how many of us who are privileged because of our skin color, socioeconomic status, nation of origin, gender, or religion hesitate when we are given the opportunity to sacrifice the perks of our privilege, or dismantle the systems of oppression that uphold it? I constantly have to work to uproot this hesitancy and complacency in myself. Maybe I am not so unlike Judas.
You're used to hearing stories about Catholics coming to terms with their sexuality later in life, but what about the folks who have always been comfortable and open about their queerness, and have
Palm Sunday is the first time we read about Christ’s Passion. It feels very personal this year. Thirty pieces of silver is what Christ’s life was worth to Judas. The lives of the most vulnerable among us—the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the incarcerated, the refugees, the institutionalized—are at the mercy of some of the most corrupt elements of our society. How many pieces of silver are we willing to sacrifice our fellow human beings for?
I believe that in this unusual time, the Lord is inviting us to deepen our faith in the resurrection. Yes, we may feel that we are in darkness; we may even picture ourselves as being like Lazarus in a dark tomb. Yet in all this, we are reminded of the basic truth of Christianity: Jesus rose from the dead and we have new life offered to us because of that. There could not have been Easter Sunday without Good Friday.