Dear faithful readers this weekend is filled with so much in our liturgical cycle it is hard to put it all into one homily. It is a continuing story beginning with that upper room experience and ending with the resurrection story on Easter morning. If you have not read the homilies for Holy Thursday please click on the menu bar above and select Feast Days Then scroll down and click on B Cycle Holy Thursday 18 before you read this homily. May your Easter be full of the presence of God’s love. Deacon Dave
The statement of the Centurion has always captured my attention. Why of all the people who gathered that day to watch the horror of the journey to Calvary, the stripping and nailing of Jesus to the cross and then his hanging there for six hours did this one give voice to what he witnessed.
It makes me wonder what was it he saw while others in the Roman guard mocked him and taunted him. It makes me wonder if we can even comprehend the gift of salvation. Do we even grasp the lengths God will go through to make sure we are able to stand in his presence because we were freed from paying the penalty for our sins?
The one thief on the cross understood this when he said he deserved to be crucified because of what he did but Jesus was innocent and did not deserve to be there. Yet there he was because it was the only way. Sin must be punished according to the law set up by God and yet in his own words he says “He desires that none should perish.” Then the only way we could possibly escape the penalty due our sins was for that cost to be paid by someone else, to be justified or redeemed by someone other than ourselves.
If all of this is true and it is, then why are so many of us still trying to appease God instead of understanding we should be embracing the gift of salvation. If we could like the Centurion believe Jesus was the Son of God then the prophets were right in that one would die for the sins of all
During my time in ministry I have been shocked by those approaching death and their worry, concern or even fear of the penalty for the sins they have committed. It reinforces the doubt in God’s promise of eternal life if we believe in the cross. Their doubt and fear stems from a lack of understanding about the forgiveness of sin by the death of Jesus Christ. What we should be worried about is our lack of acknowledging Jesus as Savior and Lord and how our lives reflect that belief. Faith in God’s promise and faith in the results of Jesus’ death demands a response from us that should motivate us to live our lives according to God’s plan.
I am certain the Centurion was never the same because of Jesus and neither should we be the same after embracing the gift of salvation. We are called to be living witnesses of this gift of grace by a loving God.
This Friday you have a chance to be in Church to reflect on those six hours and to embrace the gift of salvation. Jesus embraced the cross so we might be freed from the penalty of our sin. We are invited to embrace the cross as a witness to our belief that because of the cross we have been given life. we have been given by Jesus. That is one moment n time so let us this year make the embrace of the cross be daily proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God.