Jesus Christ: Our Cornerstone

Invitation to the Schools of Missionary Discipleship

Jesus Invites Us To Share In The Good News

Jesus’ Mercy Endures Forever

Easter: Celebrating the Gift of Life!

Everything We Need Is Found In Jesus’ Love

Msgr. Joseph Prior

(Readings of the Holy Mass – Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion)

“Truly this man was the Son of God,” the centurion says after Jesus died on the cross. He not only witnessed but participated in Jesus’ execution. He comes to faith at the moment of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ death brings that centurion to life. Though they share no words together, Jesus’ mercy is poured out with His blood on that cross. His sacrifice is one of love and mercy so that all might live. We see its saving effect immediately for faith in Christ Jesus is the path to life, the Way to the Father.

Saint Mark notes that at the moment Jesus dies on the cross, “The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.” The reference may seem out of place without some background. The “veil of the sanctuary” was the curtain that blocked the entrance to the inner most sanctuary of the Temple called the “Holy of Holies.” In earlier days this room held the Arc of the Covenant, which contained the tablets Moses received on Sinai. The lid of the arc had two images of two angels, the lid was known as the “Mercy Seat.” One day a year, on the Day of Atonement, a priest would enter and offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people. It was the only time that anyone could enter the room. As part of the ritual, a symbolic act placed the sins of the people on a goat which would be led out of the Temple and out of Jerusalem into the desert. When Saint Mark references the veil being torn in two from top to bottom, he is indicating that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the perfect sacrifice of mercy. In Him, through His passion and death, God’s mercy is poured out on all peoples.

We are the recipients of that mercy. We have just heard the “price” of that mercy.

God provided the sacrifice in His Son for love of us. Our Lenten journey is approaching its end.

The week ahead affords us a little more time to allow the sorrow for our sins to open our hearts to receive His mercy, in His death is our life.

For “truly this man was the Son of God.”

***

Msgr. Joseph Prior is pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Penndel, and a former professor of Sacred Scripture and rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

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