November 20, 2022
March 28, 2021
Hear the audio and see video of this homily
GOSPEL READING STARTS AT 31:40
HOMILY STARTS AT 49:00
The Passion of the Lord
Mark 14:1-72, 15:1-47
Yesterday, I presided at the funeral of a woman who had been married for 55 years. As I was speaking to her husband I stupidly asked how he was doing. My gosh, he’d lost his wife and i ask that?
But he was gracious and we talked but during the conversation he said something that resonated with me. Talking about what had changed he said, “It’s the little things I’ll miss.
”That struck me deeply because it’s the big things that normally we think of. But for him, in his new normal, it was the little things.
That made me stop and think about today’s Gospel Narrative we just heard. It’s a big deal for Christians overall but particularly for we Catholics. But I wanted to look for the little things that we might miss in the intensity of the narrative.
First, the young woman entering where Jesus was dining with others. Not a big deal. In the eyes of the world it was a little thing. But – she has that alabaster jar of expensive perfumed oil.
In those days, when a daughter became of age, her family gave her an alabaster container filled with this expensive, perfumed oil. The larger the container the more important and influential the family.
She must have been wealthy because the jar was worth 300 days wages. This jar indicates her future. And what does she do with it? She breaks it and anoints the head of Jesus.
A little thing, but with that act she is giving her future to Jesus. She anoints his head as royalty. An honored guest would have had their feet washed. She anoints his head as you would a king. And Jesus himself said her anointing was in anticipation of his coming death.
Individually, they are little things but together?
Another is the approaching the man and the bucket. They approach him and ask about a room. The man asks for no money, he simply leads them to the room. It is a large, furnished room.
Remember, there are millions of Jews gathering for Passover and rooms are at a premium. And yet, there is a large room ready and waiting and no money is asked. And, lest we forget, it is in this room that, what we celebrate at every Mass, happens for the very first time. The Paschal Meal, Jesus as the the Sacrificial Lamb, giving us his body and blood for expiation of our sins. It’s the little things.
Lastly, a man is tried, found guilty and sentenced to death and taken away for execution. In the eyes of the world – not a big thing.
But, this man is innocent. This man is sacrificing his life to save others. This man goes willingly to his death. Little things become great things.
He died out of love for us. No matter where you are – Texas, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa- any where you are – you are loved.
How can i know that? Because of that man on the cross.
It’s the little things.