Homily for Tenebrae, Holy Thursday (2015)

A Homily by the Rt. Rev. Abbot Caedmon Holmes of Portsmouth Abbey

Jesus is God and so is infinite. As God, he was aware of me, as he is aware of everything. His love for me individually isn’t the least bit diminished by his love for all human beings. Every soul can rightly say, each of you can say: During every moment of His earthly life Jesus was thinking of me, and loved me.  In all his sufferings, he had my needs in mind.  In all his joys, his heart was set on sharing those joys with me.  One of his greatest tortures was his longing for my happiness and my love. He knew that he had done and suffered vastly more than enough to make me holy, to make me a saint.  He saw clearly that the only obstacle to the achievement of his purpose for me was my own refusal to trust him, to believe in him, to cast all my cares on him. The only obstacle was my refusal to submit to his easy yoke, to take up the light burden which he had planned for me.  He saw my feebleness, and so he lived my life for me with his own perfection, and longed for the day when I would make my own the result of his labor and suffering, by doing what he asked me to do.

During these days of the holy Triduum, we have opportunities to contemplate Jesus, to wonder about him, to sorrow over his sufferings, to thank him for what he has done for us.  His mother Mary gives us the prime example of this contemplation.  In art, most of the time she is shown, either holding him as a little child, or else standing at the foot of his Cross, or else holding his dead body.  She is shown always occupied with him.  We can ask her to help us begin in some way to imitate her absorption in the mystery of him.