Friday, April 14, 2017

Catholic Reflections 601 : Homily - Good Friday homily 2017

Good Friday homily 2017 

++++ Please listen to my audio “blog” of the readings, prayers and reflections for Good Friday homily 2017, by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-good-friday-2017+++++

With so much suffering, violence and hatred in the world...  we can clearly see Christ crucified and suffering in the faces of all who hold out for good, for the building blocks of the Kingdom.... people who keep acting to heal, to build and to foster understanding, dignity and peace..  often at the ultimate cost.... 
The Cross of Christ is God’s wordless declaration of this: //
… “I give you my whole heart… /I give you my very self… I have held nothing back from you……….” (Christ) invites us to join him in doing the same…..by the words we use, in our actions, in our priorites; …..// Christ gives of himself for us… spiritually and literally//…. He gives every last drop……….

As we remember Our Lord’s suffering and death.. we see that Jesus is the visible expression of God’s love (which is deeper and more heartfelt than anyone could ever fathom)… and he is the visible expression of God’s mercy, compassion, and kindness…// and the visible expression of God’s values…// and they are beautifully different from what the world often values highest…. // Christ… shows us that God is complete, self-sacrificing love and mercy… Christ is complete “self-emptying love and service for others”…. Jesus is about giving the very last drop of his blood out of love and service to others….

There is a huge irony in the revelatuion of Chruist’s Cross...    Here is true victory...   true power...  and glory.....   – that is,  standing up in faithfulness for all the essential, lifegiving values of life....   even in the face of suffering and death...  never giving up, never selling out on what matters, no matter what the cost....    And also, true defeat is avoiding hardship and letting go of what matters to protect one’s skin....   True failure is lashing out in hatred and anger and trying to dominate others to obtain fleeting results...   . 

Through Christ’s suffering and death, we are saved.. we are freed.. we are forgiven.. we are given hope to endure all the many “little deaths” and trials and suffering of this world.. For God has the final say.. and it is a word of hope, love and faithfulness…

In just a short while, (in this ceremony), we will have the adoration of the wood of the Holy Cross….. as we individually come forward and show our our own personal and varied signs of reverence and veneration of the Cross of Christ...  (a touch, a bow or a kiss,,,,)...  it is always a deeply moving, personal and beautiful part of the liturgy...   we join our lives and our struggles to Christs... and he joins himself to us.... … We nail, as it were, to the cross of Christ, (spiritually), all our sins.. our trials.. our temptations.. our failings.. our doubts.. our pride.. our selfishness.. our lack of compassion.. our failures to love… our illness.. our worries.. our thwarted priorities….

Christ’s calling out, “My God My God why have you abandoned me” give voice to and God’s presence to all everyone throughout history who has ever suffered hardship, rejection, violence, illness, injustice, war, disaster… and so much more… Christ has entered into all of this and assures us God is in solidarity with them all…. The Lord cares and suffers along with… and lifts them up…….. we are always united deeply in God’s love and faithfulness… even when things are at their worst, and seemingly at their most hopeless…..

Our Lord offers us a radically different definition of power, of victory, dominion, success. It stands in direct contrast with the wider world’s standard definition of such words.

We do wonder often, when will the wider world realize this beautiful message?

Christ’s definition of victory, glory and power, evoked scorn and derision from those who opposed him, and this is just the same today. Just try and tell the “super powers” that true power is revealed in weakness and vulnerability! If we are not laughed at, it would at least cause a reaction of fear. The truth is we are all vulnerable, we are all limited, we all have weaknesses deep down. This is at the heart of Jesus’ message. He is only saying what is profoundly true; -// . That all who try to deal with their vulnerability by using “domination,” “force” and “oppression,” hatred, fear or violence, seem to act somewhat “effectively” and “very forcefully” for a time.// They may even go through their whole lives appearing to show that ‘no one is stronger’ than they are. But underneath, they are still vulnerable; (still flawed)…still ever-vigilant against surprise assailants, because they are not and cannot be inherently secure. Because they base their lives and their values on things that ultimately do not last.

Jesus warned us that POWER and oppressive tactics are very seductive options. He faced the temptation to use force to do good and rejected utterly that temptation; knowing that in the end, force is a lie that must be resisted. He shows us that if people see through the “lie” of force, violence and threat, it loses its power to make anyone do anything out of fear;// – Many people who have peacefully resisted throughout history have learnt and shown this message’ (and), not without the shadow of the cross and suffering for what matters most.

Jesus stood entirely unarmed and without armour. Our Lord stood before the world with the truth of his relationship with God, on the validity of his good news message, and confirming the absolute power of love, of graciousness, or forgiveness, inclusion; and peace and stood by that right to the end (and beyond); and it proved to be utterly authentic.

Jesus showed that power is always a relationship; that true leadership is about service and sacrifice; and that true community must be about including all others, and not segregation, separation, scapegoating or silencing minority voices out of fear……


When it comes time to venerate the cross, each of us is invited to pray quietly to God, who is in the secret places our heart)… Let us ponder on what we are nailing to the cross as we come forward....
, for Christ died to save us… to include us… to show us God’s mercy and that God is always faithful… ///. even in our darkest hour…..
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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly. 

The text linked in blue is repeated from Holy Thursday as the congregation it was preached to did not receive this message the night before and it related very well to the message for today.
Mark link sj. Vision – praying scripture in a contemporary way. Year a


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