Homily on Great and Holy Friday Before the Grave:
From the Royal Hours of Great and Holy Friday, we hear:
Thus says the Lord to the Jews: “O My People, what have I done to Thee? Or wherein have I wearied thee? I gave light to your blind and have cleansed your lepers. I raised up the man who lay on his bed. O My people, what I have done to Thee, and how hast thou repaid me? Instead of manna, thou hast given Me gall…instead of water…you have given me vinegar;instead of love…you have nailed Me to the cross. I can endure no more…
We have been given this day, an incredible gift of Love that none of us will ever be able to reciprocate. The very God who created us…voluntarily endures suffering and death in order to save us from ourselves.
Mankind was put on this earth to do one thing: to worship and to commune with the Living God. When Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil and rebelled, the human race was sent into a downward spiral, no longer fulfilling the purpose for which it was made. Mankind began to turn its back on the Creator...but God never once turned His back towards mankind.
When we love someone, we do everything possible to make sure that they never have to suffer. When one of our spouses suffers from an illness or incurable disease, we are constantly trying to find ways to alleviate their suffering. We wish that for just one moment, we can help carry the heavy burden that has been placed on their shoulders.
If God forbid any of our children are ever subjected to violence, as so many have been in the recent months, we would gladly rush into the danger in order to give our life for theirs.
This is what true love is. It isn’t “being nice” to one another. Being nice is a heresy! Being nice refutes and refuses to offer genuine love!
When mankind rebelled…the gates of heaven were shut. We removed ourselves from paradise. But today, brothers and sisters in Christ…out of true and genuine love for His Children, Our Lord has re-opened the door of paradise for us….but it has come at a tremendous and incomprehensible price.
What will we do with this God given redemption?
How will our lives be changed after this?
Will we go about our day after this weekend…and act as if this moment never happened? Or will today change our hearts and our minds, and orient us towards the reason we were created…to worship and love God.
Just as the Jews did all of those years ago…we here today look upon Him Whom We have Pierced. We hear his voice crying out to us from the grave:
“What more can I do for you my children?
I placed you in paradise and you rebelled.
I led you to the promised land and you turned against me.
I sent the prophets to speak to you, and you killed them.
I finally came to you myself to speak to you in person…
to confront you personally with my love…
and you crucified me.
For you…I came down from heaven.
For you, I was mocked.
For you, I was spat upon.
For you…I was on the cross.
And now, I will rise from the grace to show you that indeed…I am the Lord of life and death.”