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HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: HE BORE OUR GRIEF, CARRIED OUR SORROWS AND WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INEQUITIES.
BY: Fr. Callistus Emenyonu
READINGS: Is. 52: 13-53:12, Ps. 31:2.6.12-13-17, Heb 4: 14-16-5: 7-9, Jn. 18: 1-19:42
From purely human point of view and justice, this day is a Black Friday when despicable dastard act was meted on an innocent and good man, Lord, into your hands I take refuge and let me never be put to shame. In your justice set me free, you will redeem me O, Lord. Lord may I always trust in you in all circumstances and take refuge in you. Deliver me from the hands of those who hate me, who pursue me without a just cause, but let your face shine on your servant and save me in your merciful love, Amen. <br>
Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmfthe salvation of the human race. The entire liturgies are sorrowful and moody in nature causing tears to flow especially reading through his judgment and crucifixion.
When Isaiah said he shall be lifted up means that he was pushed down and needs help to be up; suffering has marred him as he loses human semblance with no beauty to attract the people, a man despised, rejected and acquainted with grief. All these said as futuristic prophetic utterances for the suffering servant of Yahweh was in reference to and was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. The passion narrative of today exposed the drama of injustice on Jesus.
Even though he has to undergo these unfortunate experiences, nations and kings shall startle and shut their mouth at what the event shall turn to be, of course they shall look unto him whom they crucified. They shall in him hear what has never been heard such as: Father forgive them (conscious offenders) for they do not know what they are doing. It is finished (the sins and death of the sinful world). Truly this man is the Son of God. They shall see what they have never seen before such as: picking the ear of Malchus cut by Peter and re-fixing it, The dead coming out of their graves and besieging the city, The darkness that befalls the world at three o’clock in the afternoon (because they killed light in preference to darkness), the tearing from top to bottom of the veil of the holy of holies. Yet in all the trials Jesus was silent and refused to defend himself or confront anybody; like the sheep before those who remove the hairs. He did no violence and no deceit was found on his lips but decided to heal the wounded world by his innocent and holy stripes. He was made perfect in suffering and by that became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. He was condemned with the wicked but had grave with the rich.
He undertook all these because it was the will of the Father to bruise him. He was an offering for sin so as to allow the will of the Lord to prosper in his hands because his sufferings shall make many righteous. This is the type of High Priest we have who is full of sympathies; he was tempted like us in everything yet he did not sin. Are we not to draw near to him and his throne of grace that we may receive mercy and forgiveness at the time we need his grace? See how Judas and his cohorts and soldiers were desperate to go in the dark with torches in search of the innocent one. Are you Judas who works with culprits to plan and destroy the innocent in the society and put them into untold hardship and troubles? Desist now. Are you Peter who refuses to listen to Jesus’ warning of his weakness but trusted in his strength yet fell at last? How many times do you fall and betray God, your friends, the Church and society? Why do you fight like Peter for only physical battle while the spiritual weighs you down? Where is your spiritual weapon that you left behind carrying physical arms? Are you one of the Jews, Chief Priests, Sanhedrins, Pharisees, Scribes and the crowd that made themselves enemies of the cross of their salvation? Why do you forget quickly the good deeds of God and others in your life and treat them bad as enemies? Is that how you repay the Lord, O senseless and foolish people? Why do you like Peter lack courage but fear a lot to defend your faith? Have you forgotten the injunction that whoever tries to save his life would lose it but he who loses his life for his sake would save it? What are you afraid of in being a true fearless Christian? Are you like Pilate who cannot use the good position God gave you to lessen the burdens of others and save those under your authority? Why do you thwart justice for the sake of pleasing the crowd and securing friendship with the rich and the prominent in the society? You want to identify with the powers that be as under your watchful care and under your nose the innocent suffer? Are you part of the zombie soldiers who do not reason but carry out wicked instructions of their earthly masters while acting without sense and conscience? Are you hardened as to use nails to strike deep down others to unforgettable pains and torture?
Beloved, be careful for your night will fall and time for frustration and regret sweep you off when you like Judas would seek for remedy and see it late and unable to turn back the hand of the clock; when you cannot correct your wrongs and then suicide will be your lot. Open your eyes now and see Jesus before it becomes late when you will speak in vain: truly this man is the Son of God. Be mindful before you invoke divine reactions of celestial bodies and see spiritual earthquake befall you. Better heed the advice of Jesus: Son, behold your mother and like John, take Mary home from today. Act in contrition like Nicodemus and ask for the body of Jesus at least sincerely by true reception and adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist. Be like Simon of Cyrene and willingly carry his cross in the painful predicament of others and do not allow it be forced on you. Be like Mary of Magdala, Salome and the other Mary and go to identify with Jesus whom others think is dead and anoint him with the fragrance of your beautiful life. Cry for your sins now not for Jesus as did the women of Jerusalem.
Lord, into your hands I take refuge and let me never be put to shame. In your justice set me free, you will redeem me O, Lord. Lord may I always trust in you in all circumstances and take refuge in you. Deliver me from the hands of those who hate me, who pursue me without a just cause, but let your face shine on your servant and save me in your merciful love, Amen.
Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmf