Good Friday – 2019
Homily given by Deacon Dennis Sutter
When I enter church on Good Friday there’s a different tone, it’s almost as if the church is on hold, in anticipation of what is about to happen.
A few years ago, Dcn. Greg Kandra traveled to the Holy Land and went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher—the site of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Once inside he came to a dark hole in the stone floor. He knelt down and reaching through the hole, he touched a piece of earth, which is believed to be the earth that held the cross. In that moment, he felt that he was touching Calvary.
Today we’ve each come, in our own way, to touch Calvary. We’ve come to stay connected to the story of our faith, to remember where it is we came from and who we are, lest we forget. Just like other family gatherings, it’s retelling, listening, and perhaps reliving the story that keeps it and us alive.
The story’s hard to listen to, and sad, but it’s our story. It brings out all the brutality that the world could throw at this one innocent man. We see the centurion, the thief, the guard, the soldiers, Mary standing watching with John by her side. Christ crying out “I Thirst” and whispering, “It is finished”.
Our sins, there was a price to be paid for our sins. We may not understand this act of redemption that needed to take place, but seeing this Cross, perhaps touching this cross makes it real, it makes a connection to the words on a page.
It’s an unbelievable sacrifice of love that frees us from sin, and we are touched, we are redeemed. And our salvation comes to us when we learn to love as Christ loved. When we in turn pick up our cross, out of love, and follow, and touch our neighbor, the poor, the homeless, the addict, the imprisoned, the stranger, each allowing us to, in turn, touch God.
We see Jesus as both King and Servant, we seek God’s love, not power, we seek his salvation, not just his help. We seek the love Jesus offers us on the cross above all other things. Calvary brings us to our knees, but it also brings us to the Resurrection, and we rise.
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you – because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.