Monday, April 14, 2014
Homily - "Go to the Cross"
I was planning on just saying to you tonight to go to the Cross. This week the Church goes to the Cross in commemorating the events of our salvation. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate Mass at St Stephen’s on the night that Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood. Later that night at Newman, we try to stay up all night with Christ in the Garden, and have about as much success as the Apostles did. Good Friday, I will be offering confessions from 12 noon – 6 pm at Newman. Bring your sins to the Cross, and the blood of the Cross wipes them clean in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Then, on Holy Saturday night and Easter Sunday, we of course celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and victory over death. So, yes, go to the Cross this Holy Week.
But, the Cross has come to you. My gosh, the Cross has come to you. In the past two weeks, there have been four tragedies involving GW students. Last week, two students were involved in car accidents: Carlos who died Saturday night and Carrie who is fighting for her life. All of the recent tragedies have affected every one of us here, so we all have a share in the Cross right now. On Ash Wednesday, I said to be Christ-like this Lent, and gave specific ways to do that. We never would have pictured the Lent we have had. I guess we should be careful for what we wish. God has allowed you the best way to imitate Christ: through the Cross.
When we get our piece of the Cross, it’s usually bigger and heavier than we want. God apparently trusts you all a lot because He has given you a huge Cross. I ask you to embrace it. Christ embraced His Cross, and be like Him. Don’t run from the Cross, go it. Unite your suffering with the Cross of Christ. The Church says that if we accept suffering with faith and love, we unite our suffering with Christ. And, it can be redemptive.
Why do we call it Good Friday? Because of the good that came out of it: salvation. Through His Cross, Christ saved the world. Or, at least, He offers salvation to the world. If you unite your suffering with Christ and offer it up for someone else, you can save them. Your suffering can be redemptive like Christ’s. I know people who have complained about their crosses and suffering; then, then heard the teaching on redemptive suffering. They stopped complaining and started to “offer it up” for someone else.
Please know of my deep love for you, and my deep respect for at least being open to this. Please know of God’s deep love for you. He created you, and “God don’t make junk”. You ARE good, and you are loved.