Homily – Good Friday MMXII 4/6/12
It was now about noon,
and darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.
Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;
and when he had said this
he breathed his last.
when they came to Jesus
and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
blood and water flowed out.
The Veil in the Temple in Jerusalem, which barred the entrance to the Holy of Holies, a Veil which, according to Jewish Legend, was 4 inches thick, about 70 feet high, 30 feet wide, and so heavy that took 300 priests to hang, is torn open, from top to bottom, and as that Veil is torn open on earth, the Veil, barring the entrance to Heaven is also torn open at the same time, never to be closed again.
And as both of those Veils are torn open, a third Veil, the side of Jesus hanging on the Cross, is at the same time torn open, opening wide His Sacred Heart, revealing fully the intimate secrets of His heart and the depths of His love for us.
And in a few moments, we will have the unveiling that caused all these wonderful unveilings – the unveiling of the Cross. The priest and two servers will go to the back of the Church, and the priest takes the Cross, which is wrapped in a purple cloth, and unveils it, tears it open, saying Behold the Wood of the Cross, on which hung the Salvation of the World. And all will kneel and respond Come, let us adore.
We have had the Cross veiled, wrapped up, for the past two weeks, and today we unveil it, unwrap it.
When you or I love someone, we most especially show that love by giving our beloved a present.
And we don’t just give them the present, say “Here it is, see, a diamond ring, take it!” Instead, we wrap it up, and watch them open it, tearing the wrapping paper off as they wonder what it is.
And so today, we unwrap, unveil this most precious of gifts from the one who loves us more than any other person – God.
And this, my brothers and sisters, my spiritual children, is how we should view the Crosses of our lives – as the most precious gifts God our loving Father, and Jesus our Friend and Lover sends us.
Through the Cross, unveiled this day, Heaven is torn open, the Love of Jesus is fully revealed, the sins of the world are forgiven and man is reconciled to God.
And through the Crosses God permits me to suffer, when I unite them to the One True Cross of Christ, the Way to Heaven is revealed to me, the Love of Jesus is known to me, and begins to be seen through me, and my many sins are forgiven and atoned for, and I am reconciled with God.
This Good Friday, let us call to mind, and thank God for, the many gifts of the Cross God the Father and Jesus His Son have given us, both past and present, and for the ones still wrapped up and veiled that He will give us in the years to come.
Ave, Spes Unica – Hail O Cross, our one hope!
We adore your Cross, O Lord,
we praise and glorify your holy Resurrection,
for behold, by your Holy Cross,
joy has come to the whole world.