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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2012 > Sermon 589 : Resurrection and the Forgiveness of Sins : 3rd Sunday of Easter
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    Sermon 589 : Resurrection and the Forgiveness of Sins : 3rd Sunday of Easter

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    St. Peter's impassioned sermon in the temple precincts condemned the people for killing the "author of life", but further explains that Jesus' resurrection means that he is forgiving the people for their sin. His return heralds his rescuing us, if we let him. We are inseparable from God's love, and will be forgiven for our sins.
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I've been thinking about ways I have died and risen, and the depths of God-forsakeness I have gone to, to bring somebody back from despair, or the depths that others have gone, to bring me back from despair. With God's grace and wisdom, I believe this happens more than I am aware.
When my Pastor was diagnosed with cancer, he fell into a deep depression, and began to pull away from the Parish and his responsibilities. It got to the point where he was turning in on himself-very grouchy. It went on for a while after his treatment had ended, so I decided it would be best to try to pull him out of it, by intentionally making him angry(a typically effective way to pull someone out of a depression.) He did stop, and he was re-invigorated, but I thought the man was going to kill me, he was so mad. I am a lector too, and I had to go back into the Sacristy and have to face his anger. If I had a question that needed answering-scary! Once he pointed at me and just said "No!" I said "But father I have to ask you a question about this other reading... It was so difficult, and I cried a lot. Later, I confessed to him why I intentionally made him angry, and apologized, so that he understood and he relented.
Afterward, the pastor said to me, "You are a back seat driver! You need to realize that I am the driver. The ride may not always be perfect and there will be some potholes, but you are going to sit back, and keep your mouth shut. I don't want you to give me the answers. I want you to let me figure this out. Do you understand?" It was his first assignment as a Pastor. I did understand.
It was incredibly difficult over the years,though. I was silent for a long time (a least a year) but the silence became too heavy a burden, and too great a punishment. It was usually his strictness opposing my administrative backround. He was usually fighting my efforts to get him to see that there was another way that was kinder and more gentle. He could have cared less if he hurt anyone, including himself-especially himself. The whelts and cuts on the back of his neck during Lent (what I could see,) were awful. If he believed it was going to get someone closer to the gates of heaven, no matter how much it hurt them, he was going to do it. I think through all of it I learned that God's response to our pain is so much better, more merciful, and easier than what we can do ourselves. If we wait for God's answer and response to our pleas for help, He hears us, and the solution is effective, working out better for everyone. Death isn't the end, either. God is helping us to grow, if we yield to the Holy Spirit.
4/17/2012 3:23:26 PM
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Lorenzo I
4/17/2012 4:24:45 PM
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BTW-When I wrote of dying and rising, I was referring metaphorically to the spiritual deaths, and rising with Christ's help, to continue growing in faith, hope and love, despite the hardships/consequences.
4/17/2012 10:31:53 PM
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Robert Cerefice (Deacon Bob)
A few years ago I met and became friends with a student who had studied with you when he was in Chicago. He is an associate at my Parish, Holy Innocents in Neptune, NJ. He is also the Catholic Chaplin at our local hospital. His name is Evarist. He is from Uganda. When we met he informed me about your web site. I use it all the time to prepare Homilies and to keep abreast of the happenings is our Church. This homily about the resurrection and sinfulness and forgveness will form the basis of my homily for this week as well (that is if I give one). I want to thank you for being such an inspiration and ask your forgiveness for using some of your thoughts.
4/19/2012 12:20:33 PM
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John Jacob
It is a very challenging homily during the Easter season. I find the relation between resurrection of Jesus and his commissioning of disciples to forgive sins.
4/20/2012 8:00:25 PM
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How come Peter does not include himself in the accusation of killing God?

I feel guilty...
4/21/2012 8:33:40 AM
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Looking at this together with the raising of Lazarus there is a slight difference though. "Repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all the nations beginning with Jerusalem." when Lazarus was raised, Jesus said "Which is easier for you to say, Rise, pick up your mat and walk, or your sins are forgiven?"
Jesus performs the miracles of conversion. Therefore, forgiveness is the route that we all have to be on, with each other, for us to be healed. The Gospels preached forgiveness, and acceptance based upon our free will. It was not evil, corrupt and abusive. For those that drank from Jesus' cup, He asked "Can you drink from this same cup?" They said "yes," and their plan of salvation was different. They suffered in a similar way that Jesus suffered. Jesus said to Lazarus after he was healed "Go home." How often does the church say "You are forgiven, now go home?" What exactly is the expectation after we are forgiven? Should the expectation be coerced, without love, and without being provided the avenue of free will? Today, what about those that want to stay and work for the church? Are they encouraged to balance the gifts they share, so that they are not overtaxed, and their sharing doesn't become a source of the root sin of pride, or are they giving until it hurts? If so why? Did Jesus ever say "I want you to hurt?" Did Jesus ever say "Give until it hurts?" Never. I remember that for the Son of God, and selected others, they were asked if they could drink from the same cup that Jesus did. This was not for everyone.
4/21/2012 12:49:26 PM
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A very powerful homily. Thank you for connecting the Resurrection and the forgiveness of sins.
4/21/2012 1:22:15 PM
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"He did not say "I'm a literary device ans my cause should continue" LOL Fr. Barron YOU are the best :) I Love when you defend the ancient people and make fun of the moderns :)while teaching us theology.
4/22/2012 8:19:12 AM
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