In the film: Passion of the Christ, when Jesus dies, a tear falls from heaven and shatters the earth. Thus a Father mourns the loss of an only Son. The Cross of Calvary penetrates the whole of Good Friday, during which we reflect on the woundedness of our Savior: “they have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones.”
In his wounded body we can recognize our own brokenness and so eagerly follow Jesus to the Place of the Skull, and commemorate each fall, with Mary, His sorrowful Mother who sheds tears mixed with dirt and blood.
Truly, the harsh reality of this hour accentuates not only our faults but also the woundedness of the Church immersed as she lives her passionate love for the Word made Flesh; for the Church continues, against all odds, to clarify the Truth even while it is feared by those who have lost their faith.
We are living in an age that seemingly proclaims liberty but at the same time avoids conscience and religious freedom. We live in an age that is afraid of integrity, lost to the meaning of martyrdom and blind to the true dignity of the human person.
Because there are so many forms terrorism and intolerance today, we have become afraid of martyrdom, afraid of the consequences of our faith that stand against anything that prohibits humanity from achieving its best potential in Christ the Church.
My friends, from the beginning, the Church has been a Church on the Cross, we have been a Church of martyrs. Throughout history we have been a community that embraces the true dignity of the person and have always sought the integral conversion of everyone to Christ through correct catechesis, prayer and the seven sacraments.
We stretch out our arms to embrace humanity and to lift it up to hear the Word of God proclaimed and lived! We have been sent to free hearts to experience the true joy of being a member of the Family of God.
As a result of our faith in Jesus, we shed light over the shadows of sin which can appear to be overwhelming, and through our communion with the Church, we realize that death has no more sting; death has no more victory, for our hearts radiate the light of Truth.
Good Friday is a vivid reminder that our obedience to the Cross makes our Catholic Church a sign of contradiction in the world, but a sign nonetheless that Christ is alive and we need not be afraid.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that we might believe in Him.”
The tears of a Father for His only Son splash over us today and rend our hearts to this new reality; that we can no longer be spectators in a world obsessed with the self, but rather we can become breakers of the chains that bind God’s People to sin and help them encounter the Christ of the empty tomb.
As a parish, we walk in his footsteps and feel the weight of the Cross on our shoulders. We willingly do so because we believe that our only freedom, our only joy, our only real choice is the Risen life of Jesus.