Homily — Good Friday MMVIII

Homily — Good Friday MMVIII

I don’t know how ancient of a custom it is, but for at least the last four or five hundred years, a veil is placed over the Cross on Good Friday for the better part of the Day.

The Cross is of course unveiled after the homily and Solemn Intercessions, and then it stays unveiled for the rest of the Day until next Holy Week.

This may seem like a strange custom;  One person said to me “the one day I’d really like to pray before the Cross, and they cover it!”

But the reason why we cover Cross today is because Good Friday is kind of like the Season of Advent.

In Advent, we try to reflect on what life was like before Jesus was born.  We sing “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “O Come Divine Messiah”.  Up to Dec. 24th we don’t sing any Christmas Carols in Church, or the Gloria.

And on Good Friday, we veil the Cross because we try to image what life would have been like not before Christ’s Birth, but before Christ’s Death.

What would my life, your life be like, had the Passion not happened?

What would my pain and suffering, your pain and suffering, have felt like, if we had to bear it without Jesus our God suffering along with us?

What would betrayal and injustice have felt like to us, had Jesus our God not been betrayed, not been unjustly treated?

How shallow would our forgiveness have been, had Jesus not said from the Cross “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”?

And as we gaze upon the veiled Cross, on Good Friday we shudder to think, what would this life be like had Jesus not said from the Cross “Behold, your Mother”?  What would life be like without Mary’s maternal care and intercession?

We see how “Good” Good Friday really is when we reflect on how “Bad” this world would be to live in without the Cross of Christ.

May our celebration of the Passion and Death of Jesus help us to fully lift the veil from our hearts that our sins have caused, that we may see clearly the great Love and Compassion Jesus shows to us on the Wood of the Cross.

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