FR. MIKE’S HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY (1)

FR. MIKE’S HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY

THEME: Greatest Love Story

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

HOMILY: Jn 18:1- 19:42

FR. MIKE’S HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY

THEME: Greatest Love Story

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

 

HOMILY: Jn 18:1- 19:42

Two brothers lived together in the same house. The elder brother was a responsible family man. The younger one was single and into a lot of vices and criminal activities. At night he would come home late, drunk and with a lot of cash. The elder brother knew exactly what he was into. He would spend hours pleading with him to mend his ways and live a decent life. But the young man would not listen. One night he came running into the house with a smoking gun and bloodstained clothes. “I killed a man,” he announced. In a few minutes police cars came and the two brothers knew there was no escape. “I did not mean to kill him,” stammered the young brother, “I can’t go to jail. I don’t want to die.” By now the police were at the door. The elder brother had an idea. He exchanged his clothes with the bloodstained clothes of his brother. The police arrested him, tried him and condemned him to death for murder. He was killed, and his younger brother lived. He died for his brother.

We are the younger brother. Jesus is the elder brother. He died for us. He was murdered. Killed! This is the meaning of our celebration today. We call this day Good Friday, the best Friday in fact, because we are the beneficiaries of the sacrifice of Jesus. We should be the ones punished and killed for our sins and offenses. Instead, Jesus took our place, all on account of His love for us.
Good Friday is the best love story we can ever imagine. Love is total self-giving. And Jesus showed us the perfect example. He gave Himself up for us: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13).

How should we respond to it? Well, how would you expect the younger brother to respond to the death of the elder brother? We would expect him to respond with GRATITUDE. It would be highly unthinkable for the younger brother to go back to his old life of vices and crimes that caused his brother’s death. That gratitude, therefore, should move him to sincere repentance and conversion. In the same way, Good Friday must evoke in us sincere sorrow for our sins and the firm resolution to amend our ways for the rest of our lives.

Secondly, the younger brother will always remember the sacrifice done by his brother. He will always pray for him, visit the cemetery regularly and remember him during special occasions of the family. In the same way, gratitude to the Lord will always lead us to remember him at all times. The best way to do this is during every Eucharistic celebration. The Mass is a MEMORIAL. It was the instruction of Jesus at the Last Supper: “Do this in memory of me.” That is why the liturgical law instructs that the cross with the image of the Crucified Lord be placed near or on the altar during every Eucharistic celebration, precisely to help us remember always the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sakes.

Third, the younger brother will take upon himself the responsibilities and obligations left behind by his brother – to his wife and children and the other people. In the same way, gratitude to Christ should lead us GENEROSITY towards others, for such was His explicit command: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34).

Good Friday is day of mixed sentiments: tears for our sins that led Jesus to his death on the cross, as well as joy for the new life His death gave us. But most especially, gratitude is what God expects from us – this gratitude should make us hate sin, remember the sacrifice of Jesus at all times, and translate our love of God into love of all His people.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


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