|Father THEVENON died before the diffusion of the film of Mel GIBSON : "The PASSION of the Christ". Certainly, he whould have liked it very much. This sermon could be the comment of the film.
See the site http://passion-movie.com/english/
Last sermon by Father Jean Thevenon
March 24, 2002: Palm Sunday
On Sunday we have seen that the Sanhedrin had decreed the death of Jesus, alter the resurrection of Lazarus. The hour appointed by the Father had not yet arrived, and so Jesus had gone to Ephraim, near the desert.
Six days before the Jewish feast of Easter, He returned to Bethany and dined with Lazarus. The next day, He set off for Jerusalem. Many Jews, enthused by the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus, came to cheer Jesus, and He entered triumphally and peacefully into the holy city, as we have read in the Gospel concerning Palm Sunday. Jesus knew what awaited him if he went to Jerusalem. He had told his disciples as much: "Here we are going to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered to the high priests and to the scribes." They shall condemn Him to death and shall turn him over to the pagans ( the Romans ) to be flagellated and crucified And on the third day He shall rise from the dead. Nonetheless Jesus went to Jerusalem, because he had to accomplish his Father’s will. Isaiah reminds us: the Servant listens docilely to what God tells him : " I have not refused my fate." "I offered my back to those who were striking me and my cheeks to those who were tearing at my beard. I did not protect my face from those who spit on me .... but I shall not be confounded because He will not abandon His servant to the corruption of the grave. "
Saint Mathew’s description of Jesus’ Passion shows us that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy and all the prophecies concerning the Messiah, although it is necessary to read all four Gospels to have a more complete description of His Passion. Jesus is betrayed by Judas, tied up, abandoned by the Apostles, judged and unjustly condemned by Caiaphas and by Pilate, whipped, crowned with thorns, insulted, spit upon, beaten, then crucified ....and He dies without complaint ! When He speaks, it is to ask that His executioners be pardoned. As Saint Paul reminds us, He has become the very image of the servant described by Isaiah, humbling Himself even unto death on the cross.
Jesus behaved like a humble and powerless man, He allowed Himself to be treated like one who was guilty, and yet He was the Son of God. Paul and Mathew tell us. - Jesus called out to God, Ms Father - "Father, take this cup away from me..... I could pray to my Father and He would send a legion of angels to save me." And it is because He calls Himself the Son of God, and therefore God Himself that He is condemned to death.
Why this behaviour? Because He is the Servant of God, the Messiah who must redeem humanity by his suffering and His death on the cross. "This is why God raised Him higher than all others, and made Him master of heaven and earth and established Him in His divine glory."
But before entering into his glory, how much suffering, how much ignominy! And why did he suffer like this? For sinners, and therefore for us, This is how much He loved us. And what does He ask in return? He asks for our sins He asks us to come to Him in order to forgive us and to open up for us the way to eternal joy! Let us not refuse His invitation: "If you hear His voice today, do not harden your heart."
No, let us not refuse His salvation, which cost Him so much and which is our greatest good: our eternity of happiness.