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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Palm Sunday sermon .....

... this one from Fr. Lasch -

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Palm Sunday 'C'

[...] Even the Church can slip into denial about it’s own need for reform from the top to the bottom. Years ago when the news of the sexual scandal broke in this county, blame was assigned to messengers rather than face the truth of mismanagement and cover-ups. It is time for reform and if it doesen’t come from the top, then it must come from the bottom up.

Jesus was a reformer. He told the truth and challenged the religious and political establishments of his time to act “in spirit and in truth.” He set out to inform his opponents about goodness and ’Godness’ not to destroy them for their badness.

He was popular at first but his popularity peaked and the tide was turned against him. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his acceptance as king was not to last. Though some considered his ‘kingship’ a good ruse to depose him through a mockery of a trial, his kingdom was not of this world or on this earth. He was confronted with the inevitable backlash again. He was too good to be true. If people listened to what he said and heeded his call to discipleship, it would lead to personal conversion and religious reform. But anything is better than reform!

The passion narrative can be understood only in the light of the Beatitudes and Jesus’ mission to mercy. He confronted even his opponents with love not hate. He subjected himself to human judgement and eventual degradation because it was only way for humanity to appreciate divine forgiveness. God did not will the death of his son; he willed only that he be faithful to life and to accept the consequences of living faithfully — committed to justice, truth and integrity with a touch of hard nosed compassion — even if it cost him his life.

It was not the Jews who put Jesus to death; it was humanity and its will to power that made Jesus powerless before human pride and the arrogance of earthly rulers and religious rulers too!

This is the mystery into which we are invited this holiest of weeks. But it is important and necessary that we view the crucifixion of Jesus through the lens of the Beatitudes and the miracle stories all of which constitute the meaning of Jesus life and the ultimate reason for his execution.

Too good to be true, he was rejected; too powerless to be defeated, he was raised up in glory. His mission is our mission; his destiny our destiny.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

Crystal,

I definitely agree that the Church is ALWAYS in need of reform BUT reform is not a synonym for "let's remake it in our own image."

At the Whosoever desires site I posted a reply to a post on this issue and, if you don't mind, I will post it here also:

Allow me to share with you the text from a friend’s blog (http://communio.stblogs.org/)
No Catholic should be surprised that there is filth in the Church for Our Lord Himself told us that this would be so in the parable of the weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). AND it’s no surprise that the Church is full of sinners, sinners who commit grave sin. And yes, some who claim to follow Christ commit evil and everything possible must be done to stem the evil and to make amends for that pain generated by that evil.

Furthermore, no Catholic should be surprised that the Faith should once again be attacked during Easter because this is an annual event. However, this year’s annual Easter attack on the Faith has taken the form of one upon the person of the Pope, Benedict XVI, himself.

What truly saddens me, however, is that there are many within the Church herself, those who should know better, that are once again attempting to create a Christianity without Christ. But if we forget Christ, if we do away with the wholly different measure that He introduces into the world now, through the Church, then we no longer have the terms on which to judge the Church.

To ensure that we keep our eyes on Christ and the newness He introduces into the world, Communion and Liberation (CL), an ecclesial lay movement in the Church, has written a beautiful editorial – Greater than Sin. The editorial, will be published in the upcoming issue of Traces, CL’s monthly magazine, but it is now available on the CL website (http://www.clonline.us/readings/benXVI_GreaterThanSin.pdf) and I strongly encourage you to read it and to send it it to as many people as possible.


Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter Crystal - and let's accompany each other in prayer!

Pax,

Henry

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crystal,

I agree that the Church is ALWAYS in need of reform but reform does not mean "let's remake the Christ's Church in our image."

I hope you don't mind but I am going to post the comments I posted on the Whosover Desires site on your site as well.

Allow me to share with you the text from a friend’s blog (http://communio.stblogs.org/)

No Catholic should be surprised that there is filth in the Church for Our Lord Himself told us that this would be so in the parable of the weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). AND it’s no surprise that the Church is full of sinners, sinners who commit grave sin. And yes, some who claim to follow Christ commit evil and everything possible must be done to stem the evil and to make amends for that pain generated by that evil.

Furthermore, no Catholic should be surprised that the Faith should once again be attacked during Easter because this is an annual event. However, this year’s annual Easter attack on the Faith has taken the form of one upon the person of the Pope, Benedict XVI, himself.

What truly saddens me, however, is that there are many within the Church herself, those who should know better, that are once again attempting to create a Christianity without Christ. But if we forget Christ, if we do away with the wholly different measure that He introduces into the world now, through the Church, then we no longer have the terms on which to judge the Church.

To ensure that we keep our eyes on Christ and the newness He introduces into the world, Communion and Liberation (CL), an ecclesial lay movement in the Church, has written a beautiful editorial – Greater than Sin. The editorial, will be published in the upcoming issue of Traces, CL’s monthly magazine, but it is now available on the CL website (http://www.clonline.us/readings/benXVI_GreaterThanSin.pdf) and I strongly encourage you to read it and to send it it to as many people as possible.

Have a Blessed Holy Week and Easter and let's accompany each other in prayer during these days of grace.

Pax,

Henry

11:34 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry,

Thanks for the comment. I haven't visited the Whosoever Desires blog yet today but I look forward to reading the post you mention.

There are probably reformers who have all kinds of reasons for wanting to change the church but I think at least some of them are focused on Jesus and don't want a Christianity without him .... they just don't believe that Jesus and the hierarchy of the church are always necessarily wedded.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter Crystal - and let's accompany each other in prayer

Thanks, Henry :) Happy Holy Week/Easter to you also.

1:02 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry,

I don't know if this will show up twice - I replied already bu then it seemed to disappear.

But anyway, thanks for the comment. I'll have to go to Whosoever Desires and see what that post is about.

I think that many reformers do want to keep Jesus in Christianity, but that they don't always see the church hierarchy as fisthfully representing him.

Thanks for the Holy Week/Easter wishes. I wish the same to you :)

1:11 PM  

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