Homily

January 15, 2000 it all began. I started my training by walking 4 miles; then up to six. Jean would drop me off 10 miles from home on a country road and I would walk home! I had decided to walk the "3-Day"---the 60 mile walk from Kenosha to Montrose Harbor on Lake Michigan in Chicago. The first day the route was 18 miles, the second day 23 miles and "only 15" the last day-Sunday. I will never forget the triumphal entry we received at our finish. The silent walk the last mile before entry into the closing arena was very emotional. Banners, balloons, and ear shattering music still rings in my memory.

I have often thought, "Is this what Jesus experienced on His entry into Jerusalem"? Did he feel he was the conquering hero of his day? Did He feel that his followers, after teaching them by word and example finally "Got it"?

If so it was a short lived experience as a few days later the chants rang out: "Crucify Him-Crucify Him". "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself". One of those crucified along with Jesus asked for his mercy. He said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus' response was simply, "Today you will be with me in paradise".

In the world of energy healing in which Jean is very involved one speaks of the chakras. These are energy points within the human body. There are 7 main chakra's. The fifth chakra is called speaking your truth.

Jesus was way ahead of his time in that he knew who he was and he spoke his truth. He came to bring the people and bring us a new awareness that we are all daughters and sons of the same God. This was a foreign concept to the Pharisees who demanded payment to them and the civil authorities; some may say a bribe or pay off. Pharisees felt their role was to keep people following the Old Testament laws and dietary prescriptions as contained in the Levitical and Deuteronomic codes.

Jesus broke most of their rules and regulations: he healed on the Sabbath; he cured the blind; and made the deaf to hear; he treated the Samaritan; he ate with sinners, he raised Lazarus from the dead and the list goes on through out the church liturgical year.

Some of the current Pharisees have turned the concept of sin into lists of laws to be followed which in the scheme of life really mean nothing and are not of Christ. This is tantamount to rejecting the message of Jesus and once again returning to restrictive laws that are meant to control people and their lives for no reason at all.

These are the laws that continue to chain people and hold them from Christ and the true experience of love in their life. These are the laws that say only certain people are good enough to receive communion. These are the laws that say a married couple can not choose what form of birth control they will use-only the form of birth control approved by elderly unmarried men in a foreign country. These bed room decisions should be made by those sleeping in the bed room! These are the laws that say only men have served the community as priests when from church history we know different.

It could almost be said that following laws that are not founded in the teachings of Christ may itself be sinful.

So why was Jesus crucified?

He was crucified because he was calling people to break out of their Old Testament mold of following out dated laws which were debilitating to them as a people. He was speaking against the established rule of law which was calling people away from God not to God.

In the end, we like Jesus will be alone before our God. Although we may have some family around us at our moment of death we like Jesus will be alone with our God. Jesus ministered until his last breath. Jesus forgave to the end. Our moment of death will be a solitary moment. It will be between me and God. It is our birthing to everlasting life. Will we like Jesus be able to simply say, "Into your hands I commend my spirit"?

Did Jesus die for my sins?

He died from my not following him and denying him as Peter denied him, from my refusing to be unchained from the shackles that bind me.

What do I need to do the change my life to be a follower of Jesus? What do you need to do to change your life to be a follower of Jesus?

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