Good Friday 2016:
We just listened to the story of love, the story of mercy. We just heard how far God will go because of his love for us. The Father sent his Son to save us; that love led Christ to the Cross. Especially during this Year of Mercy, the cross proclaims a powerful message of mercy. This is how much Christ wants to save us. He couldn’t give any more. He gave his life, he gave everything. If we ever question the power of God’s mercy, if we ever question the depth of God’s mercy, we have to look no farther than the cross and we get our answer. How far is Jesus willing to go to save, heal, and forgive us? He is willing to go all the way, even into the grave.
Last night, at the Mass of the Last Supper, we heard the words of Christ: do you realize what I have done for you? This simple and direct question is pointed at each one of us. Do we realize all that Christ has done for us? Asking ourselves this question in prayer can be a wonderful spiritual exercise, because recognizing the hand of God in our lives, empowers us to live as disciples of Christ. This whole year we have been celebrating 25 years of Stewardship here at St. Jude’s. The first principle of stewardship is to recall that everything we are and everything we have are gifts from God. Indeed, we have much for which to give thanks. Do you realize what I have done for you, Christ says to us.
Today, especially, we remember Christ’s passion and death. I’m sure it is impossible to realize fully the power of the cross. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to save me and you. Let this solemn day be a time to reflect on this powerful mystery. Allow the saving power of the cross to affect your life. One of my favorite actions of the year is our Good Friday veneration of the cross. In a few moments, our beautiful crucifix will be brought forward, and all of us will have a chance to adore and venerate this precious cross. As you come forward, I invite you to ponder the words of Christ. Do you realize what I have done for you? Answer that question by saying: yes Lord, I realize you gave your life for me, and I worship and adore you and your holy Cross.