Father Nathan Homily |
Good Friday | April 2, 2021
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.
— Phil 28-9
Good Friday Homily
Today is Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion and we are remembering the death of Jesus, the Word made flesh on the cross.
This Friday is good because our redemption is finally accomplished. Heaven is opened for us. The fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, is made happy because it was the cause for the coming of such a wonderful Redeemer and Savior as the Exultet says.
The Cross is the principal symbol of Christianity and this is so because it reminds the world of the sacrificial love of Christ which he expressed to humankind through his passion and death.
“As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ,” says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 1:23).
In addition, the Apostle says,
“the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for those who are being saved it is God’s power” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Paul addressed this message to the Jews who see the cross as a burden for criminals and suffering as punishment for sinners (Deuteronomy 21:20-23). Therefore, they think it is out of place to believe in someone who is crucified.
On the other hand, the Greeks who were renowned thinkers and philosophers of the time saw the cross as a sign of foolishness. With all their knowledge they could not understand how God uses ‘foolish things’ to express his greatness.
The message of the Cross
The cross has a message for all believers today as it gives meaning to the trials and troubles in the world, and for standing as a symbol of love as well as a symbol of victory. The second chapter of the book of Sirach admonishes those who wish to serve the Lord to be prepared for temptations (2:1).
Trials are an inevitable path towards the attainment of salvation and victory. Jesus emphasized this fact clearly to his followers when he says,
“If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
The cross brings to memory the sacrificial love of the one who hangs there. It is a clear proof of his love, that he laid down his life for us, and challenges us to do the same for our brothers and sisters (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16).
The early Fathers of the Church interpret the four cardinal points of the cross as symbols of the love of Christ – the vertical points signify the height and depth of his love, the horizontal points expressing the width and breadth of that love.
Their interpretation is closely connected to Paul’s words that prayed for the Ephesians to have the strength to grasp the breadth, length, height, and depth of his love (3:18).
I don’t have anything anymore to say about this event in the life of Jesus because this is it.
This is salvation and we are saved by Him.
Let us just listen and meditate in silence on the fact that Jesus has died for you and for me.
Let us give thanks to God for this gift of His love and resolve to live the fruits of this gift all the days of our lives.
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Past Messages from Father Nathan
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First Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church
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