Friday of the Passion of
A Homily - Cycle C - 2012-2013
by Rev. Luke Dundon
First Reading - Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Second Reading - Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9
Gospel - John 18:1-19:42
Lent - Good Friday (The Passion of Jesus Christ)
A little over three months ago, we were celebrating a birthday. Godís birthday. Jesus, the Son of God and 2nd person of the Trinity, was born in time and space. I had the pleaser of serving at the Midnight Mass, and in the homily I thought about the Christmas story as something that the Holy Trinity had long ago planned before time even existed. God knew that we would become His children, and He also knew that we would suffer from sin and death. And so He thought about how to fix it. I envisioned the Three Persons of the Trinity sitting at the heavenly kitchen table enjoying a cup of coffee (itís never Lent in heaven, so coffeeís available all the time up there), as Jesus came up with a great idea . . . He explains to His Heavenly Father, ďDad, Iím going to knock their socks off . . . Iíll come down to them and be ONE with them, and not one of the greatest or most powerful people. But one of the simplest, most humble, living in a peasant village and working as a normal, everyday carpenter?Ē Word spread through the Heavenly Court Ė God Himself was going to come down and live in the poorest of ways Ė it mad the angels laugh with joy, the greatest and most loving joke God could ever offer humanity, by becoming ONE of us, and a SIMPLE one of us at that. And so we celebrated the Christmas story, a few months ago.
But the conversation at the divine kitchen table continued, as the Father tenderly looked at Jesus, and said, ďSon, thatís good, Iím very pleased with you. But in order to save my children on earth, you will need to do more than that. You will need to be harshly treated, rejected by your own, you will need to be scourged and crowned with thorns, and made to carry a cross and be nailed to that cross, and then you will need to die . . . for my children. Normally I would not ask my only-begotten Son to suffer so much Ė but, you see Son, I love my children that much! Son, my children are suffering from sin, they are suffering from their own enslaving habits and thoughts, words and deeds, and they need a Savior! Will you do it, Son? Will you go down for them?
Now, normally such intense conversations donít occur at the kitchen table, but this one did in Heaven, as the Son listened respectfully to His Father, and then thought about the matter. He then thought about all the children of God who would be born on this earth. He thought about all the sins that they would sadly commit, He thought about all the torment that they would bring upon themselves from their own weakness and failure, He thought about how many would try to fix themselves, but would STILL need a Savior in their lives . . . His thoughts spanned all the continents and all the millennia of human history, including a parish in Falls Church, Virginia, with souls from Broyhill Park, Ramondale, Holmes Run and beyond . . . His thoughts focused on each and every man and woman, boy and girl . . . and in thinking this, His Sacred Heart burned with love, a tear ran down upon His face, as the soon-to-be Word-made-Flesh said to His Father, Yes, Dad, Iíll go. Iíll go down for them and DIE for them. For I love them too. They suffer from so much, so many will come to a point where they can do no more, where they just ask, ďWHY?Ē Well, Iíll give them an answer . . . an answer of Love. Iíll die on the cross for each and every one of them. Iíll take the blame for their mistakes, Iíll take the punishment for their failures, Iíll die so that they can LIVE, let me do it for you, Dad! Le me do it for them!
The Heavenly Father looked upon His Son with a loving gaze that canít be described in human words. He then said, ďMy dear So, when people look upon the cross, an instrument of death and punishment, no longer will they see horror and pain. No longer will they be reminded of their own failures and weakness. When they look upon the cross, they will be reminded that they have been loved to the end. When they look upon the cross, they will be reminded that suffering is my love letter to them all. When they look upon the CROSS, they will behold, the Salvation of the World.Ē
And so we thank God for loving us so much today . . . for
He hangs Ė pale figure pinned against the wood.
God grant that I could love Him as I really know I should.
I draw a little closer to share that Love divine and
almost hear Him whisper ďAh, precious child of Mine!
I should now embrace you, My hands would stain you red.
And if I leaned to whisper, the Thorns would pierce your head."
Then I knew in silence that love
demands a price
'Twas then I learned that suffering is but the Kiss of Christ.
Thank You, Jesus.