Good Friday 2015:
He loved his own in the world, and he loved them to the end. Last night we saw the love of Christ being shown through the example of the washing of feet. We saw how that love has been continued in the world by the gift of the priesthood, and by the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Indeed Christ continues to love his own. But, just how deep is this love? Just how far does this love go? If we ever wonder about the love of Christ, we look no farther than the Cross.
The account of Christ’s passion reminds us how much he loves us. Love is all about giving, serving. Christ loved his own. He gave everything for us. He held absolutely nothing back. He stretched out his arms on the cross, he gave everything for us. Even his heart was pierced so that the very last of him could be poured out for love of us. Because of his self-giving love, Christ was able to swallow up all the selfishness, hatred, violence, and sin of the whole world. This act of love was so pure, so holy, so perfect, that all sin is but a little shadow in the face of the burning fire of this love.
At the heart of our ceremony today is the veneration of the Cross. We come forward as a people who love and appreciate the Cross of Christ. We see it, not as some bizarre instrument of painful torture, but as a sign of a love so pure and deep that it changed the world. The cross of Christ stands as the very center of Christian history. It is at the heart of our lives. I hope that there is never a day that goes by without each one of us thinking about the love of Christ shown on the cross. Today, on this special day, we come forward to kiss, touch, or genuflect before the cross as a way of thanking Christ for his love.
But, it doesn’t end there, of course. Hopefully, by coming in contact with a love this strong, it changes us. When we touch this cross of Christ, I hope it leaves a mark on us. Last night, as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he said: I have given you an example. I think this is also true of the cross: as I have done, so you must do. Today, as we touch the cross, we feel and touch the love of Christ. Then we hear in our hearts: so you must do.