How are you and I to follow the example of Christ? Celebrating the Eucharist? Knowing and living the Good News? Serving and loving one another? Using all the talents which God has given to each of us? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Is there any better way to please God?
Last Sunday and today we celebrate two significant happenings in Jesus' life which we can identify with and imitate. We celebrated Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem and we are called to celebrate our successes generated by our use of our talents utilizing the strength God has given us. We as well celebrated his willingness to stand up for what he believed and what he knew was God's will for him even though it meant his death and we are called to do the same and like Jesus be willing to do that no matter what the consequences
Today we celebrate the anniversaries of three important accomplishments of Jesus in the last few days of his earthly life. Accomplishments which form a significant portion of our Catholic Christian faith and tradition. Today is the anniversary of the first Holy Mass, when Jesus transformed the Jewish Passover into the Eucharistic celebration during the Last Supper after he had washed the feet of his apostles, commanding them to do humble service for each other and concluding the ceremony by giving his disciples his own body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine as spiritual food and drink.
The second of Jesus' accomplishments during the Last Supper was the institution of the ministerial priesthood to perpetuate the Holy Mass, to convey God's forgiveness of repentant sinners and to preach the good news of salvation.
The third gift which Jesus gave us, as well at the time of the Last Supper, was what we might call the eleventh commandment, the commandment of love when he said, "Love one another as I have loved you."
The first two items, The Holy Mass and the institution of the ministerial priesthood are very important to a specific segment of the Church community, the ordained priesthood in order that they can serve the whole community by presiding at Mass providing the entire community with the most important food for our spiritual journey/life. You might say these two items are very important to the ordained and of utmost importance to the entire community in that from them we are provided the food we need for our spiritual journey. The third item, the eleventh commandment, living it, provides the results we all strive to obtain utilizing the spiritual food we receive from the Eucharist, from the fruits of God's forgiveness, and from knowing and living God's truths contained in the Good News, the Scriptures.
Is the way you and I are following the example of Jesus good enough for the Almighty God? "There was once an old retired Methodist bishop who never missed an opportunity to say a word for his Lord. One day he was in the barbershop receiving a haircut from a young man who was his regular barber. There was enough conversation in the shop to allow him to speak with the barber privately, so he said, 'Harry, how are you and the Lord getting along?' Rather curtly the young man replied, 'Bishop, I do the best I can and that's good enough for me.' The bishop said no more. When his haircut was finished , he got up and paid the barber. Then he said with a smile, 'Harry you work so hard that you deserve a break. Sit down, rest, and have a coke. I'll cut the next customer's hair.' The barber smiled and said, 'Bishop, I appreciate that but I can't let you do it.' The Bishop asked, 'But why not? I promise to do my best.' 'But,' said the barber, 'I'm afraid that your best wouldn't be good enough.' Then the bishop added the obvious, 'And son, neither is your best good enough for Almighty God."
And the question each of us can ask ourselves as we prepare to celebrate Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, Is the way you and I follow the example of Jesus good enough for each of us? Is it good enough for the Almighty God?