HOMILY OF GOOD FRIDAY
Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9, John 18:1-19:42
THEME: PETALS OF SACRIFICE: UNDERSTANDING SELFLESS LOVE
Beloved in Christ, today we are invited to reflect on the trials, suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve come to adore the Wood of the Cross on which hung the Salvation of the World. Today’s celebration highlights Christ self-surrender for our liberation. We are brought to understand how the accursed tree became the symbol of our salvation.
When we take time to reflect on our lives, we will see how on every occasion the word of God challenges our choices and how his spirit questions deep down the motives of our actions.
Going through today’s passion narrative according to St John, I recalled a touching drama that took place in my living room some days ago.
During the process of making a video for my YouTube Channel, I tried working towards having a beautiful background. So, I picked the flower vase which had been on the cabinet all along. I soon discovered that some of the leaves were drying up already, and I wondered if that would not mar the beauty of the setting I was trying to create for the video. Nevertheless, I went ahead to use it regardless.
Thereafter, while drinking water, it occurred to me to pour some of the water into the vase. The moment I ceded to that prompting, the question that arose in my mind was, “Why do you want to share your water with the flower? Is it because you want to keep it alive or you simply want to keep it fresh so you could use it for your next video?” Then, the inner voice said again, “Now you know that man hardly acts without self-interest.”
When we protect the rights of others, do we do so because we are afraid of the law? Or because we think it is simply the right thing to do?
When we give to the poor, do we do so, just because we feel good helping those at the lower ladder of the society or because we’re custodians of God’s resources? Do we have respect for the integrity of our beneficiaries?
Christ’s passion sets us free and restores our human dignity. He stated in the , “I no longer call you servants, but friends.”
Today, we call to mind the innocent Saviour who died for the sinful. In him, there is no self-interest. Selflessly, he surrendered himself that we may live. He said,
“Who are you looking for?”
They answered, Jesus the Nazarene.
“I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.”
He told the soldiers to release the culprits and take him instead. Unlike us, who oftentimes may want others to suffer the pain of our sins. We shift the blame of our actions and refuse to take responsibility.
An African adage says, “it is only a tree that hears he is going to be cut down and still remains at the same spot.”
Jesus waited, he surrendered himself. He took our shame. And was hung upon the tree. He bought our freedom and restored back our dignity.
Beloved in Christ, we can analyze our motives. We too can be more sacrificial. We can be selfless. Jesus is looking for those who love for God’s sake and not for personal glory.
We praise you O Christ and we adore you, by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.