2021.03.21 Homily

Readings and Gospel at USCCB

There’s an indie folk band out of England called ‘Daughter,’ and they have a music video for their song entitled “How,” which was released in 2016.

Strictly reading the lyrics, it seems to be a typical song of love and loss. But the video adds another dimension.

We see a woman, apparently suffering from some sort of agoraphobia, and maybe some OCD, afraid to leave her house: constantly testing the locks on her front door, and pacing the hallway.

Finally, she works up the courage, leaves her home, walks to the edge of town: a look of pure joy crossing her face as she sees the sky stretching into the distance before her.

Then the terror returns.

You see it in her eyes, and she runs back to her house, locks the door, returns to safety.

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In our Gospel today, we are at the Last Supper, and Jesus is explaining to his Apostles that he must die, and in his death, salvation would be won.

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In this and in other parts of the Gospel where Jesus predicts his death, the response of the Apostles and disciples is revulsion.

They don’t want to see their beloved teacher suffering, let alone murdered.

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It is part of fallen human nature to seek security and comfort, and avoid suffering and pain.

But that is not the nature of God.

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If a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit.

Whoever hates their earthly life, will secure their heavenly life.

When Christ is lifted up in suffering and death, he draws everyone to himself.

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In the tradition of our faith, we understand that we are one body in Christ, and when we each individually suffer, we suffer the crucifixion with Christ.

We were not made for comfort, we were made for greatness.

Part of our journey to Christian perfection, is learning to see suffering, the way God sees it: as the crucible where growth and development happens for us, and salvation is expressed, to the world.

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Now I need to make a clarification:

There is glory and goodness to be obtained when suffering, but suffering itself is not a good to be sought out.

Plenty will come to you without you looking for it.

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But when it arrives, look for the good God plans to accomplish through it:

Look to the saints, to see the lessons they learned in difficult times.

Look to the martyrs, to see the people they brought to Christ in going bravely and joyfully to their deaths.

Look to Christ, who when he was raised on the cross, drew all humanity to himself.

En Español

Lecturas y Evangelio en la USCCB

En nuestro Evangelio de hoy, estamos en la Última Cena, y Jesús les está explicando a sus Apóstoles que debe morir, y en su muerte, se ganaría la salvación.

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En esta y otras partes del Evangelio donde Jesús predice su muerte, la respuesta de los Apóstoles y discípulos es de repulsión.

No quieren ver a su amada maestra sufriendo y asesinada.

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Es parte de la naturaleza humana caída buscar seguridad y consuelo, y evitar el sufrimiento y el dolor.

Pero esa no es la naturaleza de Dios.

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Si un grano de trigo cae al suelo y muere, da mucho fruto.

Quien odie su vida terrenal, asegurará su vida celestial.

Cuando Cristo es levantado en sufrimiento y muerte, atrae a todos hacia él.

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En la tradición de nuestra fe, entendemos que somos un cuerpo en Cristo, y cuando cada uno de nosotros sufre individualmente, sufrimos la crucifixión con Cristo.

No fuimos hechos para la comodidad, fuimos hechos para la grandeza.

Parte de nuestro viaje hacia la perfección cristiana es aprender a ver el sufrimiento de la forma en que Dios lo ve: como el lugar donde ocurre el crecimiento y el desarrollo para nosotros, y se expresa la salvación, para el mundo.

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Sin embargo, necesito hacer una aclaración:

Se puede obtener gloria y bondad cuando se sufre, pero el sufrimiento en sí no es algo que se deba buscar.

Mucho vendrá a ti sin que lo busques.

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Pero cuando llegue, busque el buen Dios que planea lograr a través de él:

Mire a los santos para ver las lecciones que aprendieron en tiempos difíciles.

Mire a los mártires, para ver a las personas que llevaron a Cristo yendo con valentía y alegría a la muerte.

Mire a Cristo, que cuando fue resucitado en la cruz, atrajo hacia sí a toda la humanidad.

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