Why is good Friday Good? When man was at his worst, God was at His best.
If you have one minute to live and one call to make, who would you call and what would you say? This is a question I often pose to young people and the answers are always the same: “I’ll call my mother, my parents or a loved one.” What would they say? The reply is text book, “I am sorry, I love you, forgive me.” So why not say it now? Why wait for that ‘tragic end’?
Words are so powerful; they have the power to build or break. A child’s first words may be garbled gibberish but we still hear in them a mama or a dada. The words of the liturgy may sound solemn, but we still hear the loving voice of our Saviour. And then there are those words that break us; “I wish you were never born,” “you make me sick” or “I hate you.”
Today, on Good Friday we hear the words of a dying man. His words are true and full of openness. These are ‘His last Words’; yet filled with love, not hate. He preaches not once, but seven times for these are the seven last ‘words’ and yet more than words. The first three are about Him; the last four are about others. His pulpit is His cross. There is no microphone and so at times He cries out in a loud voice, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.”
His last will and testament is being dictated even as He dies; He inks it in His own blood. Ironically, a dying man gives us ‘life giving words.’ This homily needed no preparation, for His life was a homily and now, though words come from His lips, they emanate from His heart. Every part of His body is bruised except His tongue and He uses it to forgive. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
A Christian can never say ‘no one loves me.’ That’s the greatest lie! Christ loved us when He stretched out His hands to show us how much He loved us; stretched it enough to be nailed on a cross. This is LOVE FRIDAY and appropriately also called GOOD FRIDAY. It is GOOD because when man was at his worst, God was at His best.
(excerpts from the ‘Tre Ore’ or the ‘ Three Hours Agony’ to be preached at St Andrew’s Church, Bandra)
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
References taken from Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.
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