Friday, April 02, 2021

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Every time you look at a crucifix, you see the ultimate definition of Love, a Love that saved us all, from the first humans created, to those who will be the last: past, present and future humanity is embraced in Christ’s Love. But this has only meaning if you deeply believe that Christ is not just a wonderful human being, but the Son of God, for Christ is the God-man.

I remember seeing a movie about a priest who lost his priesthood because he lost his faith. He poignantly said, “When I look at a crucifix, I only see a man, nothing more.” This priest was so honest, admitting that he just had no faith in Christ’s divinity: he was simply a wonderful human being who loved in a most lavish way. But this love, while beautiful, does not have the power to SAVE the whole of humanity. Only God forgives and saves.

I’m afraid many people baptized and brought up Catholic, going to Catholic schools and being taught the teachings, could easily say the same words as that priest, that the one hanging on the Cross is just another man. Nothing more. Brutal honesty with ourselves is the beginning of salvation.

This day we call “GOOD” Friday is only good insofar as we believe to the depths that the One hanging on that Cross is THE Christ, the SON of the living God. Faith is a gift that can be lost is neglect, selfishness, and a serious misunderstanding of science. We have to come to the point in our lives when we admit to how shallow and futile our lives have become, as the gift of wonderment has been lost. We can readily understand what makes a sunset so beautiful through scientific explanations of the magnificent shades of color. But we lose the ability to see a WHO is behind the beauty and a PURPOSE to why it was created.

The priest in the movie regained his faith when he connected to people in Love, in vulnerability. The Cross connects us to tbd most powerful expression of LOVE, Christ spreading out His arms, embracing each and every one of us, especially the one who has lost faith. When Christ’s Love is encountered, our hearts are softened as Grace pours in, saturating them, allowing them to be transformed into a Garden of Delight where God walks about freely.

Fr. Frank