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Below is my homily for this past Good Friday service. You will see that it based on the way of the Cross we have been walking over these past couple of weeks.

I mention in the reflection a phrase- “It’s Friday but Sunday’s coming.” I first heard that at a prayer breakfast several years ago from the guest speaker Dr. Tony Campolo. I am not sure if the video after the homily below  is based on the same sermon Dr. Campolo was talking about but it is a powerful reminder of the story we are all living. Have a look!

Good Friday Homily- The Mystery in which we share   by:  Deacon Mike Walsh   April 2010

I had the honour recently to speak to our RCIA group here at St. Patrick’s- those seeking to become in full communion with the Catholic Church- a few weeks ago about the meaning and significance of the three days of the Easter Triduum.

Last night was the Mass of the Lord’s Supper- today we remember Good Friday and starting with the Easter Vigil tomorrow after Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection.

There is prayer that is said at every mass but many of you may never have heard it as the priest or deacon usually says it in silence as he prepares the ‘cup’ for the consecration.

During the offertory the altar servers bring the water and the wine to the altar, the wine is poured into the chalice and then a few drops of water are added to the wine and the following prayer is recited- listen to the words carefully:

“By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”

Over the course of the three days of the Triduum we see both sides of this prayer come to life. The divinity of Jesus that we are called to share in and the fact that Jesus, although he is God, came to share our humanity with us.

On Holy Thursday, Jesus leaves us, for all eternity, the gift of his Body and Blood- the Eucharist.

On Easter Sunday we celebrate that we have truly share in Christ’s divinity. We are all eligible to share everlasting life with our Father, with the Son under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And today-Good Friday we are reminded that Jesus came to share in our humanity. He does not take the easy route- he does not ‘cop’ a plea and bargain with Pilate and the religious authorities. He decides instead to take the most difficult of roads so that we might all witness his sacrifice and learn from it.

Pope Benedict  in homily about Good Friday quoted St. Leo the Great who said  “that the Way of the Cross teaches us, to “fix the eyes of our heart on Christ crucified and recognize in him our own humanity”.

The Way of the Cross- The Stations-  provides us with some indication as to the WHY this was chosen. Over the past several weeks I have been working on posting to my blog a version of the Stations based on Pope John Paul’s Scriptural Way of the Cross.

For the time we have together this afternoon I would like to take you through this journey and touch on humanity of the story. What lessons does Jesus offer to us as we travel with him on the way to the SKULL where he dies for each of us- for his friends?

1 – Prayer: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:

My soul is sorrowful even to death….My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will…

Jesus is troubled by what lies ahead and prays- he teaches to be open and to realize that it is not about our will- but God’s will.

2 – Betrayal: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested

“Judas is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Sin of Man”

Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted or have you ever betrayed another.

3 – Judgement: Jesus, Condemned by the Sanhedrin

They said to him, “Are you the Son of God: Jesus replied-“You say that I am.”

Jesus knows how it feels to have those who consider themselves superior to him standing in judgment of him- out of jealousy and fear.

4 – Abandonment: Jesus is Denied by Peter

“I do not know the man, I do not know the man, I do not know the man…Peter went out and wept bitterly”

Is there any greater human pain than to be abandoned by a love one? Have you not been there for someone who counts on you?

5 – Falsely Accused: Jesus is Judged by Pilate

Pilate said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood…see to it yourself.”

Pilate knows Jesus is innocent- but he washes his hands and takes the easy route out.

6 – Pain & Suffering: Jesus is Scourged & Crowned with Thorns

Hail king of the Jews…the soldiers mocked him and lead him out to be crucified.

Pain & suffering is a fact of human life. There is no escaping it and Jesus does not deny that it exists and suffers untold pain and humiliation for each of us. How do we face these challenges in our lives?

7 – Hardship: Jesus bears his Cross

Carrying the cross by himself Jesus went to the place they called the skull.

In the face of his suffering Jesus takes up his cross and carries it by himself. He knew this had to be done, we needed to see him shoulder this hardship. Do we have the courage to follow Jesus model and pick up our crosses in faith.

8-Accepting Help: Jesus is Helped by Simon to Carry the Cross

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, to [help Jesus] carry his cross.

A powerful lesson- when help is offered, when we are struggling can we put our pride aside and accept the help of others. When we see another in need do we step up and offer a hand even when it is inconvenient.

9 – Kindness : Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem

A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him…

In the midst of our own suffering can we find a way to comfort others?

10 – Forgiveness: Jesus is crucified

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Perhaps the hardest of all the lessons of the Way of the Cross- forgiveness. Despite the pain and suffering inflicted upon him by those around him, Jesus asks that they be forgiven. Forgiveness may at times seem to be only for the divine but Christ shows us that we must all be prepared to offer it-regardless of the hurt caused.

11 – Hope: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

“Jesus remember me…today you will be with me in paradise”

The other side of the forgiveness story is played out for as we watch the Good Thief reach out to Jesus. Do we trust enough- as the good thief did- in the unconditional love of God to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we have committed?

12 – Love: Jesus speaks to his Mother and the Disciple

Jesus said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

Before he dies on the Cross, Jesus makes sure that we all know that we are his brother or sister. We all share in the love of his Mother and he tells us that he did in fact come to share in our humanity and he did so because we are all family.

13 – Salvation:  Jesus Dies on the Cross

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”

The one fact that we all share as part of the human family- one day we will die. Jesus shows however that while our human body may stop working one day our spirit will live forever with the Father in heaven.

14 – I am Thankful:  Jesus is in the Tomb

“And they rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

Good Friday comes to a close. The Sun is setting and Jesus is in the tomb. In our sadness, because we have yet to live the rest of the story, Easter Sunday, we are called reflect on all we are thankful for in our lives. Holy Saturday is a day of reflection and thought as the stone is still rolled in front of the tomb.

Easter Sunday: The Homecoming

Soon we will celebrate- it is Friday but Sunday’s coming– and we will soon know that Jesus has risen from the dead.

At the Easter Vigil we will again come together for Mass. It is then that will once again know that

“By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”

It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming:

One Response to “Good Friday- The Mystery in which we share”

  1. Joe says:

    Deacon Mike, This was a beautiful homil, i came looking for a copy, thansk for posting.