Why We Long to be Back Together

(April 10, 2020)

I offer this homily (and take off my hat) to any brothers who are celebrating Mass or live streaming during this crisis

Bottom line: In Jesus we have a profound spiritual and physical relationship to God and to each other. It's good we long to be back together.

I begin with an apology for last night. The sound was so bad that most people gave up. I thank those who are giving us a second chance this evening.

In this live stream people can leave comments. Many said, "can't hear", "sound doesn't work". Others commented how much they long for us to be back together in our church. Amen!

Christianity is not just a spiritual religion. We are also inextricably bound to matter. Christianity is about God taking flesh. Jesus is not only true God, he is also true man. On the cross God truly suffered. Way back there were people called the gnostics who said Jesus didn't really suffer - he only appeared to suffer. That's a lie. In reality Jesus suffered physical pain. At the end with a loud cry he gave us his spirit. He died as all humans must die.

There's more: As we hear tonight, after he died a soldier pierced his side. Blood and water flowed out. The blood and water indicate our physical immersion into Jesus. In baptism we have water poured over us. In the Mass we drink Jesus' true Blood. Christianity is an unabashedly physical religion. You can be a good Buddhist by learning how to meditate. Christians also practice meditation but we require something more - physical immersion in Christ through the sacraments. In the Body of Christ you and I have both a spiritual and physical union. We'll see that above all on Easter when we celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

So it is good that you have that desire, that longing to gather here in this church with your brothers and sisters. We may not physically join our hands but we share a profound physical union in the sacraments we share - especially the blood and water flowing from Jesus' side.

The fact have a material relationship with Jesus ties with what Pope Francis observed on Palm Sunday: God saves us by serving us. On Palm Sunday we heard that in Jesus God humbled himself by taking the form of servant. Last night we saw how God in Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. Tonight we have the powerful poem of the Suffering Servant: a man of suffering who bears our infirmities and takes our sins upon himself. God saves us by serving us.

That service, as we shall discover tomorrow night, does not end with the tomb. It only begins there. In Jesus we have a profound spiritual and physical relationship to God and to each other. It's good we long to be back together. The best is yet to come. Amen.


Spanish Version

From Archives (Good Friday Homilies):

2019: Source of Mercy
2018: What is Truth?
2017: Three Responses to Innocent Suffering
2016: Source of Mercy
2015: The Truth About Everything
2014 : Conformed to the Cross
2013 : The Contrast of Judas and Peter
2012: The Newness of Jesus' Death
2011: Suffering Is Everything
2010: Do Not Waste Your Suffering
2009: He Learned Obedience
2008: According to Your Word
2007: He Took Our Suffering to Himself
2006: The Hour of Divine Mercy
2005: The Conversion of Barabbas
2004: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?
2003: The Host
2002: Testimony of Bishop Dolli
2001: Blood From His Side
2000: Vicarious Suffering
1999: Old Testament Fulfilled
1998: He took our place

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
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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