9th April 2017

Palm Sunday

Homily

Imagine what sins have each one of us committed during our lives. The things that still upset me when I think of them, the regret I now feel, my knowledge of the damage I caused that can never be put right, the things I wished I had never done. Think of the sheer weight of that knowledge that each of us carry around. Think of the weight borne by everyone in Church today. The total weight born by all the people of Longsight, of England, of the World, of the worst most evil people you can think of from history, of all the people who have ever lived and ever will live. There is not, never has been and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.

The scourging, the crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross, the agony and death are terrible, cruel and deeply moving, but lots of people were crucified, indeed many people today suffer a far worse death than crucifixion, no, the suffering of Jesus on the cross, terrible though it is, is but a sign of the crushing weight, the awful agony of one who united to the Father and Holy Spirit in love, none the less experiences in his human nature the weight of the guilt, regret, sorrow, distance from God, evil and sin of every single person who has ever lived.

This is what sets Jesus' death apart from all other unjust, cruel deaths and this is why we can say his suffering on the cross was greater than any other suffering.

It also means that just as we rejoice because on that cross on our behalf he repairs by obedience and love the damage our sins of disobedience and hatred have caused so too we are deeply moved because we acknowledge that my sin has put him there and my sin causes him pain.

We are now invited to accompany the one who dies for love of us on his journey, over Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter vigil.