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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: March 30, 2018
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock on Friday, March 30, 2018.
One of the strangest place names in our country is Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The name suggests that if you tell the truth, things will go well for you. If you tell a lie, you’ll suffer the negative consequences.
Actually the reverse is more often the truth. It should be Truth and Consequences, New Mexico. Often if you tell the truth, you’ll end up suffering for it. That’s why it’s so tempting to lie. That’s the meaning of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Human institutions seek at all costs to maintain themselves, to survive. If the system is evil, you have to buy into that evil yourself if you are going to be a success in that system. But if you resist the evil of an evil system, you will suffer the consequences, the wrath of the system.
(Jesus) proposed an alternate vision predicated on persuasion rather than coercion, service rather than the pursuit of power, humility rather than pride, trust rather than control. And he did not abandon this vision, this truth, no matter what they did to him.
Today we read the passion account and will adore Jesus on the cross. Jesus died because he resisted an evil system. He spoke the truth and suffered the consequences.
He proposed an alternate vision predicated on persuasion rather than coercion, service rather than the pursuit of power, humility rather than pride, trust rather than control. And he did not abandon this vision, this truth, no matter what they did to him.
You and I have died to the evil system of this world in baptism and have been reborn to a new life, consecrated to the vision that Jesus proclaimed and died for. This is a truth that the world does not know and will not accept because it runs contrary to the vested interest of those who are in control in our present system, which continues to be marked by evil, by greed, by exploiting peoples’ fears, by self-interest, by nationalism, by the lust for power and domination.
And into the darkness and evil of our present system, you and I who unite ourselves to Christ on the cross, are sent forth into the world to proclaim the truth — and, to suffer the consequences, which could easily mean having to face a little unpleasantness.
But that’s a big part of what it means to take up our cross and follow him who on Good Friday poured himself out totally for us.