Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily


Hopefully, after 40 days of prayer and fasting and alms giving, and coming here Thursday night, Jesus says to us,  “Are you still a little afraid?  Let me wash your feet.  Let me give you food and drink.”  After he opens up to his disciples he turns and says, “Do what you have to do, Judas.  It’s all part of the plan.”


Last night Jesus suffered and died in our midst.  We came up to venerate the cross and to realize that this was an act of love and that the cross is filled with glory.  We realize there is something happening here and, “I really want to grasp it.”


Then today — it’s the empty tomb.  He out maneuvered all of them.  The Romans were scared to death.  They put extra guards at the tomb.  In the midst of all of that, when Mary came and they rolled back the stone she was terrified and thought,  “What am I going to find?  A dead man?  Or if he’s gone, where did they take him?”


In a panic she ran to the others.  John as head of the community took off running and Peter right behind him.  But Jesus had already designated Peter, “You will be the rock of my church.”  And so Peter walked in, and the empty tomb was for real.  It was at that moment that Peter realized that he no longer had to be afraid.


What we are celebrating is a new experience for us because it is not last year, or ten years ago, or twenty years ago — it’s 2014 and Jesus keeps asking that same question,  “Are you still afraid?  What is it I can do for you to put you at peace?” 


There was a doctor and a minister riding on a train.  The minister shared with the doctor a story about his son.  “My son has been very ill,” he said.  “I have come to realize that I am not in charge and that there is something more going on in my life.  The other night as I was putting my son to bed we prayed together, and then he looked at me and asked, ‘Dad, is it all right for me to go to sleep?’ ”


The father looked at his son, and he knew what his son was saying.  “Yes, go ahead and go to sleep,”  the father said.  And the final words from the little boy to his dad were, “I can’t wait until morning.”


When the pastor had finished that story, tears were coming down the doctor’s cheeks.  The doctor knew the message.  When they got up to leave and go their separate ways, the doctor looked at the pastor and said, “I can’t wait until morning.”


That is what Jesus wants us to say tonight.  Every night and every day, he is just simply saying,  “This is all for real.  For several thousand years it is coming to all of this.  And all you need to say is, ‘I just can’t wait until morning.’ ”


There is something more to all of this.  Our rituals are not empty.  The word of God penetrates our hearts.  In a few minutes, when we celebrate the sacrament of initiation,

we’re re-living the whole story.  It’s the water, it’s the anointing, it’s the spirit.  And all of a sudden there is life.  When you and I have life, and we know the source

of that life, we can say to one another, “It’s all right to go to sleep, because when we wake up in the morning — we’ve got everything.”


That’s why Jesus says,  “Don’t be afraid.”  That doesn’t mean we’re all praying to die tonight.  What we’re saying is, we are praying to live, and to come alive, and to share the Gospel.  Then we say,  “I’ve got to go back and wash more feet.  I’ve got to receive the Eucharist and it can’t be anything routine in my life.  When I say ‘Amen,’ I mean ‘Amen.’  And when I feel that spirit urging me to get moving and to do certain things, I won’t hold back.  Because every moment of my life I will always be living for the morning.”  What a gift.

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Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.

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