Potpourri of Popery, Sacred Triduum Edition


Happy Passover and have a blessed triduum everyone. This blog enters radio silence until Easter after this post.

All the Holy Week Vatican doings will be here eventually.

Heap big palm, Chiefie! With an outsized homily to go with (and great pix). Palm Sunday coincided with World Youth Day, so keep in mind this was addressed primarily to young people. I wish someone had talked to me like that when I was 16. As usual, he's a good teacher, asking the unspoken question himself:
Do we understand what it means to say that this Kingdom is not of this world? Or would we actually prefer that it were of this world?
then answering it beautifully. The idea of taking up the cross daily is as old as the gospel, but I like the way he explains it here:
perhaps it is relatively easy to accept this as the fundamental great vision of life. In practice, however, it is not a question of simply recognizing a principle, but of living according to the truth that it contains, the truth of the cross and resurrection. Hence, once again, a single great decision is not enough. It is certainly important, it is essential to dare to take the great fundamental decision once, to dare to utter the great “yes” that the Lord asks of us at a certain moment of our lives. But the great “yes” of the decisive moment in our life – the “yes” to the truth that the Lord puts before us – must then be won afresh every day in the situations of daily life when we have to abandon our “I” over and over again, placing ourselves at the Lord’s disposal when deep down we would prefer to cling to our “I”. An upright life always involves sacrifice, renunciation. To hold out the promise of a life without this constant re-giving of self, is to mislead. There is no such thing as a successful life without sacrifice.

This morning he celebrated the Chrism mass, at which the sacred oils are blessed and priests renew their priestly vows. If you wish to know what a priest is, this is it. The homily is almost a prelude to the year of the priest, which Benedict has proclaimed beginning June 19th, the sesquicentennial of the Cure of Ars. He begins with an almost academic question: what can Christ mean when he says in his high priestly prayer, "I consecrate myself"? How can the holy of holies be further sanctified? The answer --the word in this context means "sacrifice," becomes a profound meditation on the meaning of priesthood and the heart of Christ:
Do we now see what happens when Jesus says: “I consecrate myself for them”? This is the priestly act by which Jesus – the Man Jesus, who is one with the Son of God – gives himself over to the Father for us. It is the expression of the fact that he is both priest and victim. I consecrate myself – I sacrifice myself: this unfathomable word, which gives us a glimpse deep into the heart of Jesus Christ, should be the object of constantly renewed reflection. It contains the whole mystery of our redemption.
RTWT, as also read his homily for Holy Thursday. I
n the Upper Room, Christ gives his Body and Blood to the disciples, that is, he gives himself in the totality of his person. But can he do so? He is still physically present in their midst, he is standing in front of them! The answer is: at that hour, Jesus fulfils what he had previously proclaimed in the Good Shepherd discourse: “No one takes my life from me: I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again …” (Jn 10:18). No one can take his life from him: he lays it down by his own free decision. At that hour, he anticipates the crucifixion and resurrection. What is later to be fulfilled, as it were, physically in him, he already accomplishes in anticipation, in the freedom of his love. He gives his life and he takes it again in the resurrection, so as to be able to share it for ever.
Tomorrow: way of the cross at the Colosseum.

And finally: saving the jokes for Easter. Have a deep triduum, meet God.