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Homily Passion Sunday

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									                                      Homily – Passion Sunday 2011 (A)i

                                          The Most Rev. José H. Gomez
                                           Archbishop of Los Angeles

                                     Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
                                               April 17, 2011



My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In this celebration of the Holy Eucharisti, we have entered into the week of our
salvation.

Our lives as Catholics flow from the events we remember today and in the days that
follow in this Holy Week leading to Easter.

Jesus‘ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, his Last Supper, his agony in the Garden, his
passion and death on the cross, his Resurrection — these events changed the course of
world history.

These events changed the destiny of each one of our lives. They made it possible for us
to be born again, to live for God and for love, and to share in the joy of the world to
come.

Blessed John Henry Newman said: ―In the cross and him who hung upon it, all things
meet. … The cross is the center and interpretation of all things.‖ii

The cross is now the measure of the world. We must interpret everything in our lives,
everything in our Church and in our world, in the light of cross and in the light of
Christ. The cross is now the measure of our lives.

That is why the liturgy today makes each of us participants in this historic drama.

Every year, as we come to Holy Week, we have to place ourselves at the center of the
events of Jesus‘ passion and death. We have to ‗live‘ it, not only to watch it!

We have to see ourselves as the ones waving palm branches and singing hymns of joy.
We are the ones who shout, Hosanna! And Blessed is he who comes in the name of the
Lord!

And sadly sometimes we are the ones who later will mock him in his agony. We are the
ones who cry out, Let him be crucified!
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My brothers and sisters, the liturgy is so personal today because each of us must make a
personal decision about Jesus Christ and his cross.

These are good things for us to reflect upon in these days leading up to Easter.

Let us try in this Holy Week to accept our own weaknesses. Let us make an act of
humility and ask our good God for his grace — to be always faithful to our Christian
vocation.

My friends, in our contemplation it is important that we remember: Our Lord gave his
life on the cross because he wanted to do it! He said: ―I lay down my life. … No one
takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.‖iii

Jesus loved us to the end. He came to do God‘s will, to be obedient to God‘s purposes
for him.


He came into this world with the words of the psalm on his lips: ―Sacrifices and
offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me. … Lo, I have
come to do your will.‖iv

And he left this world by making his life — his Body and Blood — into a perfect
sacrifice. In all things, he conformed his will to our Father‘s will.

Today we hear his prayer in his Agony in the Garden: ―Not my will, but thy will be
done.‖

This is the same prayer he taught his disciples to pray every day, the Our Father: ―Thy
will be done.‖v

This is the prayer the Jesus gave us. And this is how we must live, my friends. By the
pattern of his cross. No longer for ourselves, but living now only for the love of God
and the love of others in God.

The great St. Rose of Lima said: ―Apart from the cross there is no ladder by which we
may go to heaven.‖vi

By following the way of his cross, with his grace we can conquer sin and death in our
lives, and gain his Resurrection.

So in this Holy Week, let us renew our desire to accept the crosses that he sends to us in
our lives. Let us embrace the way of the cross as the pattern for our lives.

Let us follow him along the way of his cross. Let us follow him along this way that
leads to the Resurrection and the heavenly Jerusalem.
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And let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to teach us how to remain constant, how to
struggle in little things, and how to grow continually in our love for Jesus.

May she be close to our side as we try to live well this Holy Week, contemplating the
passion, death and Resurrection of her Son.




i
   Procession: Matt. 21:1–11. Readings at the Mass: Isa. 50:4–7; Ps. 8–9, 17–20, 23–24; Phil.
2:2–11; Matt. 26:14–27:66;
ii
    Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 6, ser. 7.
iii
    John 10:17–18.
iv
    Heb. 10:5–9; compare Ps. 40:6–8.
v
    Matt. 26:42; Luke 22:42; Matt. 6:10.
vi
    Catechism, 618.

								
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