Thursday, April 5, 2018

He falls alone

March 25, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you!

“You will all fall away!” so Jesus told his disciples during the last supper. To this, Peter and the other disciples objected: “Even if all will fall away, I will not…Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And so it came to pass: at the garden, Peter, James and John could not stay awake and watch with Jesus even for an hour; Judas betrayed the Lord with a kiss; everybody deserted him and fled; Peter denied him. Even that mysterious young man who followed the Lord fled naked, leaving his garments behind. From the time of his arrest, Jesus was surrounded by his enemies: false witnesses testified against him, the Sanhedrin condemned him as worthy of death, the crowds demanded that he be crucified, soldiers mocked him, passersby insulted him, and even those who were crucified with him heaped insults on him. But the worst of all was that when Jesus cried out from the Cross: “Eloi, Eloi lema sabachthani?” no answer was heard from the Father…even the Father seemed to have abandoned him. In other words, Jesus died alone.
But it was when he died that the centurion who saw how Jesus died exclaimed: Truly this man was the Son of God. The women who followed him from Galilee and also from Jerusalem were seen watching from a distance. Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin came forward to bury Jesus. Indeed, the single grain of wheat fell to the ground and died. But when it died, it bore much fruit.

This single grain that fell to the ground is truly the King of Israel. This truth was professed by his enemies themselves. Pilate asked, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” The soldiers who mocked him saluted him by saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” The chief priests and the scribes mocked him, “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down cross that we may see and believe.” The inscription of the charge above his head read: “The king of the Jews.” Indeed, the Holy Spirit has put this truth on the lips of Christ’s enemies in order make it more credible. If a person’s greatness is acknowledge by his rivals and enemies, that greatness becomes more believable than when it is said by one’s own friends and relatives.

And so, this single grain that fell and died is truly the King of Israel. Single handedly, he defeated the enemy. Alone, he took up the battle and he was victorious. God greatly exalted him and gave him a name which is above all other names. This is why today, we acclaim him: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” Today, the Scriptures tell us: “Fear no more, O daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon an ass’ colt.”  Let us welcome him with all the sincerity of our hearts. Let us “inwardly fulfill what we enact outwardly.” (Pre-1955 blessing) Christ bows down to us so that we should come back to the Father. Therefore, let us honor Christ by our sincere conversion. By submitting to his commands and teachings, let us truly profess: Truly, this man was the Son of God, the King of Israel.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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