Why This Waste?

(Palm Sunday Homily)

In the opening scene of St. Mark's Passion, a woman pours a jar of perfumed oil over Jesus. Because of its great value, some asked, "why this waste?" That is precisely the question for Holy Week: why did God go to such extremes to save us? By our human way of thinking it could have been accomplished more simply. So much needless trouble could have been avoided.

Yet when we consider the world God created, it becomes evident He does things on an extravagant scale. Scientists used to look at the immensity of the universe and speculate there must be other planets where intelligent life developed. But now some are saying the precise conditions are so fine tuned, the odds against the possibility are great.* If that is true, the billions of galaxies would be a magnificent window dressing which only we, the angels and God himself could appreciate.

Such extravagance fits what we ourselves experience: Love moves people to do things which outsiders consider crazy, even scandalous. I think of a very humble man in Peru who scrimped - and then went into debt - so he could buy his daughter a beautiful wedding dress. She could have married in a simpler garment and would have been just as pretty, but that is not the way love thinks. So it is with God.

During Holy Week we see the extent of God's love. If we had only the created world as evidence, it would be possible to think: easy for Him. But no one can look at Jesus on the cross and say the same. I invite you to participate deeply in these mysteries, especially during the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Experience the extravagance of God's personal love for you - and ask him in what way you are to pour yourself out in response to such grace.


*Six factors in this "fine tuning" are: the size of the earth, its rate of revolution, distance from sun, seasonal variations, surface and its moon. See The Fitness of the Earth.

From Archives:

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)

Announcement (Re: Confession)

Holy Family Pilgrimage

my bulletin column

Parish Picture Album - April 2011

40 Days for Life (Everett, WA)

Q&A about Planned Parenthood

Another sting by Live Action: Planned Parenthood CEO’s False Mammogram Claim Exposed

Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith - Presentation for Monroe Christian Pastor. (For pdf format click here)

Background for presentation on "Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith": High School Course – World Civilization - Section on origins of Christianity. (For pdf format click here)

Parish Picture Album

Laetare Sunday: the old & the new (March 2012)

Al Kresta at Rally for Religious Freedom: "We want this to be an enduring victory for American religious liberty...The way we ensure this does not become a political tempest in a teapot: Psalm 51 'Create in me a clean heart, O God..."

Please take time to read what our bishops are saying about Religious Liberty & Conscience Protection

The Archdiocese of Seattle also has helpful resources regarding the defense of marriage and family

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

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Parish Picture Album

(view slide show of Men's Conference Volunteers)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

(new, professional website)

photos of Diego
(teenager with eye disease helped by Mary Bloom Center)