March 24, 2012

HOMILY for Sat in Week 4 of Lent

Jer 11:18-20; Ps 7; John 7:40-53Preached at the Mercy Convent, Edinburgh

Although the period beginning tomorrow is no longer called Passiontide, even so Lent has shifted into a higher gear, focusing on the Passion of Christ and culminating in the Crucifixion on Good Friday. in our readings, the noose is tightening, so to speak, and the opposition and hostility to Christ have mounted, as the plots against him begin to take shape. But the plotting of mankind takes place amid division and confusion. In contrast to the maneuvering and bickering among the plotters, St John is clear that God is in control and has the master plan in hand. Hence, as we heard yesterday, and again today, Christ is not arrested because his hour had not come. 

There may be times when we feel caught up in the wrangling of human beings, of politicians, bankers, and institutions. But our faith in a good and loving God tells us that God holds all things in his Providence, and is always bringing about our good in every situation. No human plot can frustrate this. So, with the serenity that comes from faith in God’s plan and his goodness, Jeremiah says: “I have committed my cause to you”. And, of course, these words are now being attributed to Christ, who is the Suffering Servant. He, who has been sent by the Father, also commits his cause to God. And because the Son does the will of the Father, so, his cause is to carry out God’s will. His cause is to do God’s cause with perfect obedience and trust. 

And God’s cause is that humanity should be saved from sin and death. God’s cause, his will for all people, is that his love for us should not be impotent but should bear fruit in eternal life. Hence, the “vengeance” that God takes on sinful humanity is the resurrection. For by raising Jesus from death, God thwarts the plotters, vindicates Christ, and accomplishes our salvation, which is planned from all eternity in his Providence. 

And so, let us not be afraid to trust that God has the master plan in hand, and to commit ourselves to his loving care. With confidence that he will turn our Good Fridays into Easter Sundays, let us say to him: “I have committed myself to your cause. Lord God, I take refuge in you”. 

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