The Cross Confronts Us

(April 14, 2019)

Bottom line: Ultimately the cross confronts each one of us. After all, "The Cross is the first letter of God's alphabet and it is written in the life of each person".

Once I asked some children if they know the first letter of the alphabet. They all responded "A."

Then I asked, "But do you know what's the first letter of God's alphabet?" After a number of guesses, I told them, "It is the cross." Pope St. John Paul said, "The Cross is the first letter of God's alphabet and it is written in the life of each person."

No one can escape the cross but you can choose how you respond. As we see today, one man responds by mockery, "Are you not the Christ?" The Messiah? "Save yourself and us." This thief knows how to see through people - to play the "gotcha" game: You're the messiah? Don't make me laugh.

It's easy to see through people - to point out their evident inconsistencies. The hard thing is to actually see the other person. This, the good thief does. It begins with humility. "We have been condemned justly." From there he recognizes it's not about me; it's about Jesus. "Jesus, remember me."

The good thief embraces the cross. For sure, it means shame and suffering. Still, the cross contains everything we need: forgiveness, healing, hope, humility. To reject the cross results in self-exultation, rage and finally, despair.

You can run, but you can't hide. Many have convinced themselves that science has disproved God's existence. It does no such thing. In the end you and I face a choice. As author Leon Bloy says, "Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil." That may sound extreme but in the first homily after election, Pope Francis uses the same quote, "Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil." We have to choose

That choice involves the cross. Ultimately the cross confronts each one of us. After all, "The Cross is the first letter of God's alphabet and it is written in the life of each person". Amen.

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Audio File of Palm Sunday Homily Year C - March 20, 2016

Spanish Version

From Archives:

2018, Year B: Finding Hope When Life Hurts Week 6: Best Holy Week Ever
2017, Year A: Best Lent Ever Week 6: Thy Will Be Done
2016, Year B: First Things: Jesus Suffering Today
2015, Year B: New Mind and Heart Week 6
2014, Year A: Prayer and Spiritual Combat Week 6
2013, Year C: Strengthen Your Brothers
2012, Year B: A Loud Cry
2011, Year A: The Blood of Martyrs and of Jesus
2010, Year C: The Good Thief
2009, Year B: God's Justice
2008, Year A: Your Will Be Done
2007, Year C: What Do We Have To Offer God?
2006, Year B: Body and Blood
2005, Year A: A Week to Remember
2004, Year C: The Passion of the Christ
2003, Year B: He Breathed His Last
2002, Year A: Human Guilt & Divine Mercy
2001, Year C: An Honest Thief
2000, Year B: Why This Waste?
1999, Year A: His Blood Be Upon Us
1998, Year C: The First Letter of God's Alphabet

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources)

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Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

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MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

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