Good Friday Homily
“I don’t understand this…” said my great niece of 5 years old to her mother…not wanting to go to bed… but that was non negotiable-she was going to bed. We may be asking that same question today: “I don’t understand this…” In other words, ‘How is it that something as brutal as the Cross has become the centrepiece of our faith?’ Or, ‘How is it that we glory in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ?’ It doesn’t make sense to us. Some say that Jesus suffered and died because we are so bad. That doesn’t make sense to me. If God created us, loved us into existence, breathed life into our being so how can we be ‘bad’. Oh yes, we have the capability to do horrible things, as witnessed in today’s gospel and on our daily news. We have our faults and we fail but that does not deter God from loving us.
Doesn’t it make more sense that Jesus suffered and died because we suffer and die each and every day? Who among us hasn’t known suffering, loss, grief, powerlessness of all sorts? Look at those working on the front lines during covid: medical personnel who assist with the sick and dying; teachers, students working in unusual safety conditions, and the elderly confined to the safety of their homes… to name but a few. Or those who live with illnesses of all types, or relationships gone sour. Or those working in the church dedicated to their people and yet struggle to make sense of rules and regulations brought down by bishops. The cross of Jesus is unique to him but not exclusive to him. This is the heart of our faith – that he shares with us the totality of his uniqueness as the eternal Son of God.
The Cross is definitely not exclusive to Jesus. It is also my story. It is your story. It is the story of Holy Spirit Parish, the communities where we live, our diocese, the whole of Canada, the United States, Russia, Syria. It is the story of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. It is the story of those close to us and those we don’t even know. It’s the story of those we love and those we avoid.
How is this so? I don’t know. Why is this so? I don’t know. I don’t have any good, satisfying or easy answers. I don’t think any of us really do. But, what I’m convinced of is that the cross is a non-negotiable…it’s always part of our lives… it’s part of our faith…and part of new life… But as well, the cross always leads to resurrection in some form. The cross of Jesus Christ is the price of integrity. It’s all we’ve got. And it’s all we need. Amen.