Palm Sunday (Youth Mass)
There is irony in that the first time a person declares Jesus as God’s Son in the Gospel of Mark, is after he has died. And it was a centurion, not one of Jesus’ disciples, that understood Jesus was more than an ordinary man.
I suppose the only way he could tell was the extraordinary love shown by Jesus amidst the most horrendous pain and suffering. Jesus' response to what he endured spelled out the divine. Only God could endure so much and love so much.
Today I want to speak about moments of suffering and love.
How do we know that someone loves us? Is it because mum gives you a kiss and tells you? Maybe. But what about true love, is that any different? And do we have to put love to the test to see if it works? I don’t have any answers except to say that Jesus’ Love was more than just words.
His love was epic… it was awesome love that he showed. Who would lay their life down for another – meaning they would let themselves be killed to save another person? Would you give up your life to save your brother, or even someone who was mean to you? Jesus did, and it wasn’t fair. But that’s what true love is like.
Another question: If someone loves you so much what would you do? I suppose you’d figure out if you like that person! ...and then I suppose you’d do something about it!
Jesus loves you like nobody else and what I want to say is that he hopes you would love him back! And we can do that in many ways. One way is to love other people like Jesus loves you. He likes it when you do that, so there’s a suggestion for you. The people that love Jesus give this their best shot.
The last thing about love is that it has changed the course of history. Jesus’ love is so strong that it draws us all the way to heaven. Even if we experience sad or bad times we can get through that because we know that love is stronger than any pain or suffering. LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH!
Through suffering, dying and rising Jesus transformed all suffering and pain which become life-giving. The Holy Cross is packed with meaning and value. Suffering becomes redemptive and rewards us with eternal life. The secret is: By keeping our heart open to love and open to God, even whilst suffering, we share in Jesus’ victory over sin, suffering and death.
Thanks be to God.