Thursday, April 2, 2015

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community/ The Resurrection, Year B. April 5, 2015 by Beverly Bingle, RCWP

When we end our Mass today, we end the Triduum,
the holy three days of one celebration

that touches and makes holy
every part of the cycle of our lives.
From the original blessing
at the beginning of Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper
through the celebrations of life and work, of joy and sorrow,
of sharing and suffering and dying,
to the rebirth and rising of this glorious Easter Mass,
we have walked with Jesus
and reflected on the truths he taught
as they are playing out in our own lives.
As Peter preaches to us in the Acts of the Apostles,
Jesus went about doing good, for God was with him.
And we—the witnesses who eat and drink with Jesus
now that he has been raised from the dead—
we are commissioned by Jesus
to preach that same goodness,
in words, of course, but more importantly by our actions.
Saint Paul tells the Corinthians—and us—
to clean out the “yeast” of malice and wickedness
so that we can celebrate the feast
with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth!
A few weeks ago I was counting out coins to buy the morning paper
before I headed into the McDonald’s for coffee with friends
when an elderly gentleman called to me
from his car in the handicapped space just outside the door.
I walked over, and he handed me the five quarters, saying,
“Buy me a paper and get one for yourself, too.”
I thought it an odd phrasing but didn’t think much of it at the time.
I plunked his quarters in the machine and gave him his paper,
then walked back to put my quarters in.
He called out again, “I meant for you to get a paper, too.”
I still didn’t get it.
I smiled and waved, showing him that I had bought my paper,
and walked inside.
As I waited at the counter for my decaf, it finally dawned on me.
He had been asking me to steal the newspaper—
pay for his and steal one for myself!
I have reflected on that incident quite a bit this Lent.
Bottom line, I am grateful to God
that the long and tumultuous years of my faith formation
have brought me to the point that my automatic reaction
was to help this handicapped stranger,
totally oblivious to the thought
that I might have a chance
to cheat the Blade out of a newspaper
and save myself $1.25.
Faithful in small things!
Is it: Ma’am, you gave me too much change?
Or is it: Pay me in cash
so I don’t have to pay income taxes on it.
Is it: Sir, you dropped this $10 bill.
Or is it: Write the invoice for $500 more than the repair costs,
and that’ll cover my deductible.
Do we help a colleague handle that difficult client,
or do we walk away
because we hope that their failure
will make us look better when promotion time comes?
Over the course of our lifetimes
we act in both moral and immoral ways.
When we do the wrong thing and repent, we learn.
When we do the right thing and notice it, we learn.
Eventually we come to the point
that those cumulative life lessons form our character.
We die, and we rise.
What life experiences formed Mary Magdalene
into the kind of woman who followed Jesus around Galilee?
What prompted her to keep vigil with him as he was crucified?
Where did she get the courage
to stand at the foot of the cross when he died?
What great compassion led her to the tomb to anoint him for burial?
Mark’s gospel ends with Mary Magdalene and the other two women
saying nothing to anyone,
but different endings were appended later
to parallel the rest of the story as recorded elsewhere.
We know that the various endings
of Mark and the other three canonical gospels
all report that Mary Magdalene,
either alone or as a member of a group of women,
was the first to testify to the resurrection.
Pope John Paul II wrote
that Mary Magdalene stands as proof
that Christ entrusted divine truths to everyone,
women as well as men.
He cites a litany of events:
First at the empty tomb.
First to hear 'He is not here. He has risen.'
First eyewitness of the Risen Christ.
First to be called to announce the resurrection.
First sent to bear witness to the Apostles
and therefore called “the Apostle to the Apostles.”
How did she get to be that kind of person—that saintly woman?
Like each one of us,
she had to have lived the Triduum, over and over,
starting with the original blessing of her birth
and being formed through life and work and joy and sorrow,
over and over, dying and rising.
Like each of us, she walked with Jesus
and reflected on the truths he taught.
She let her character be formed in holiness.
And so we follow.
We’ll celebrate the impact of this great mystery today
and throughout the coming 50 days
of the Easter-Pentecost season.
We pray that each step along the way
will form us even more closely
in the Way of our brother and teacher Jesus,
who continues to walk with us.
Yes, God is with us, as God was with Jesus.
So let us go about doing good.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006
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Posted by: Beverly Bingle  

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