Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Monday, March 21, 2016

Homily - Palm Sunday - March 20, 2016

Phil. 2:-5-11; Mt. 26:36-75, 27:1-60

Throughout Lent, the readings have directed our thoughts to the cross of Christ, the one means of salvation.  Only the blood of the Son of God could suffice to take away the sins of the world.  As I mentioned last Sunday, the temptation in the desert, the Gospel for the first Sunday of Lent, showed us the devil desperately trying to separate our Lord from the cross, to choose another way.  But there is no other way.  The cross of Christ is our one hope.

In the Passion Narrative of Luke, there is a chilling detail.  He says, “When the devil had finished all the tempting he left Him, to await another opportunity.”  In the Passion Narrative today from Matthew, we see this moment.  As our crucified Lord is dying, the faithless cry out to Him, “If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross,” the temptation to forsake the cross.  It is an irony, because precisely by His death on the cross He is fulfilling what only the Son of God can do.  By His death on the cross, He triumphs over sin and death.

In the Mass of this Palm Sunday, we recall that our Lord was received into Jerusalem to acclamations that He was the king, the messiah, the awaited son of David.  But He was not the kind of king they thought.  It was too small for Him to be the king who would deliver Israel from the Romans.  He was not like the Old Testament kings who forgot they were instruments of God and sought to be like the nations.

St. Paul, in the Epistle, tells us the kind of king He is:  the eternal God Who, pre-existing and exalted forever in the resurrection, set aside, for a time, not His Godhead, but the glory of His Godhead; Who entered into the human condition, a humble king, God and man, all powerful, all merciful; by Whose authority took the burden of sin upon Himself and vanquished death; Who restored human freedom, and established the order of grace, where we find forgiveness, life, renewal, and hope.  This is our king.

In some of the ancient churches, there is a crucifixion scene in the apse above the altar, and, in the foreground, sometimes, a figure looking on with faith and reverence.  You never see his face, because that person is you.  It is a means of drawing the onlooker into the saving death of Christ.  That is something like the Passion Narrative of today’s Gospel, which draws us in and makes us present, who see the Lord, the messiah, the Son of God, the king, faithful to the cross, Who conquers sin and death.