Good Friday/Holy Saturday-ish
I call it, “acknowledging something objectively good when I see it.” And this is so good that I want to share it with you with all credit going to the author (one of our dear priests at SJA). I had a blog post in the draft pile but it just did not click and God only knows how much I bore you all with my mindless drivel and not-so-occasional ranting about anything and everything.
I am not putting the whole text below but I will put excerpts here to give you an idea of how great this homily is with a link at the end.
It was preached this afternoon at the Liturgy of Our Lord’s Passion at SJA. I, along with several other parishioners, thought it was quite good. Father is usually in the habit of recording his homilies (trust me, I subscribe to his iTunes feed) for a podcast but for one reason or another, he did not. Praised be Jesus Christ (now and forever) that he types them out.
He opens: “Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. The wood of the Cross. The instrument of our salvation. And while much of the world out there continues on, barely mindful (if at all) of what God has done for them, the Church leads us to fix our gaze on the Cross, the instrument that Jesus used to save the world.”
Looking at the person of Pilate in the Passion: ““I find no guilt in him.” Pilate says that three times. Pilate, by the way, is an interesting one to reflect on. He was personally opposed to having Jesus crucified, but because the people yelled loudly, he gave in.” At church he made a comment about how this position is held by many persons: they are personally opposed to it but “publicly’ they follow the will of the masses. *cough* catholyc politicians *cough*
On the fact that while we mournfully recall the Passion of Christ, our sadness comes from within ourselves: “Only He could pay the penalty due to our sins and the sins of the whole world. And so we weep not for Jesus. Our mourning is not for Him. As Jesus said to the women of Jerusalem, we weep for ourselves mindful that He who did not sin gave up His life for those who have sinned.”
Read the rest here. It, along with the rest of his homilies, talks, and article are well worth your time. Subscribe to his RSS feed and his podcasts. Gotta love a podcasting priest! Who knows maybe because of this post, he will get about two or three more hits … a girl can dream, can’t she? 😉
Personally, this was a very powerful Good Friday. I love the part of the service when we venerate the Crucifix. I always feel the all-consuming desire to embrace it and never let it go. At that moment when my lips meet His feet, I felt a peace that is singularly a gift from Him Whose Likeness I was venerating. Better feeling than any amount of silver polish, ethereal incense, or well-chanted/sung music/prayer can produce. I was head over heels. He steals my heart every time. Yep, I’ve got it “bad” and I am darn grateful for it, most unworthy person that I am to be loved by such a merciful and loving Redeemer. 🙂
I will leave you all with a well-known quote by Fulton Sheen:
“Keep your eyes on the crucifix
For Jesus without the cross
Is a man without a mission,
and the cross without Jesus
is a burden without a reliever.”
This quote illustrates exactly what I see wrong with Catholic churches that do not have large crucifixes in the center of their sanctuary (if I hear “worship space” one more time, I will …tear a page or ten outta my inclusive Psalter (how I got that thing is a whole other story)) or a crucifix at all. Never mind that the Church mandates it but what does she know, right? Let’s listen to some “eminent” liturgical “architect” whose mind and blueprints are stuck in the “Spyryt of Vatycyn II” of the 1970s felt banner “I’m okay, you’re okay” theology (more like “I’m an idiot; you’re an idiot.”).
I have been into some Catholic churches where they have corpus-less crosses in their sanctuary or even no cross at all (some other thing that is some abstract rendering of what it is said to be). There is something very wrong. Since when has the ultimate act of love of God for man become a complete and total downer? Is it because it portrays indescribable pain on planes that no man alone can fathom? Probably. Newsflash, people, it was by His suffering and death that our debt to God was repaid. You think college loans/credit card debts (plus interest) are bad? How about all of the sins of every person who has ever or will ever live? Yeah. It takes the God-Man to pay that tab. Only He could have done it. And it was out of pure love for each one of us.
All right, I will get off my soap box. I have to hit the sack. I am a tired little church lady. Cannot wait to hear the Exsultet! YAY for the return of the bees! (Go to Vigil and you will hear it, if he does the long version)
Have a blessed Holy Saturday, everyone!