My brothers and sisters in Christ,1
Today on this Good Friday, we remember the drama of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s passion and death. And as we heard, the God who is Love dies as a Man — on a Cross made of wood. No one takes his life, he gives it freely.
And it is all for love. Every word and gesture, all the humiliation and pain.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son. But he dies — not for an idea, not for some abstract cause, “the world.” No.
God’s love is personal. His Son dies for you. He dies for me. Jesus dies for each and every person who has ever lived and every person who is yet to be born.
So we need to let Jesus look down upon us from his Cross. And when you see yourself reflected in Christ’s eyes, you can see in the most personal way — that he knows you and that he has loved you — since even before he created you.
And now, out of love for you, he dies today on the Cross. What can we possibly give him in return for a love so great?
He dies for love, and he invites us today to live for Love. He makes his life a prayer, an offering for our sin. Now, he calls each one of us to make our life holy, an offering to God.
My brothers and sisters, as we continue on our paschal journey, we look past the Cross and into the darkness of Holy Saturday. But we know that our Redeemer lives! No grave can hold his body down!
We know that on Easter Sunday morning we will meet him outside the tomb — that we will see him and walk by his light, in the land of the living.2
Nothing is lost! All our anguish and distress, all the failures and missed opportunities in our lives. There is nothing that cannot be redeemed! God’s truth is stronger than any lie. God’s love is stronger than any hatred, stronger even than death itself.
And also, let us remember, that his Cross is our connection. Nothing now can separate us from the love of God, the love of Jesus who comes to save us. Now we can conquer everything through the One who loves us.3
But today, let’s ask for that grace — the grace to have an extraordinary hope in Jesus’ Cross. Absolute trust in God’s love for each one of us — for you and for me.
And in these days to come, let us stay close to Mary, our Blessed Mother. May she walk with us and guide us along the way that leads from the foot of his Cross to the empty tomb of his Resurrection on Easter morning.
1. Readings: Isa. 52:13-53:12; Ps. 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25; Heb. 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42.
2. Job 19:25-29.
3. Rom. 8:35-37.