Homily by Father Mark
As we just heard Deacon Steve proclaim the words of John’s Gospel, we can’t help but think about what Jesus was thinking at every moment — from his journey to Jerusalem to his Last Word from the Crucifix. On this night, one of the holiest of days, we acknowledge that Jesus was betrayed, that he greatly suffered, that he was rejected, and that he must have felt immense sadness and abandonment.
Jesus was betrayed, arrested, interrogated, questioned, beaten, flogged, spit on, mocked with a sign, and crucified! What was going on in his mind? What was he thinking? Why didn’t he answer? Why did he keep quiet?
He kept focused right to the end. He prayed the Psalms, simply by reciting the first few words. Even His Last Words were much more than a good-bye.
A few years ago, during a Good Friday homily, I spoke about the sign that was hung above Jesus — INRI. We just heard the Gospel tell us that it was intended to make fun of Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). Even today, many people want to live their own lives and not live for Jesus — they would prefer to keep Jesus right there on the cross. So for them, INRI means: “I’m Nailed Right In”. But, for us who believe, Jesus’ Passion, Death, and the Easter experience of Resurrection, provide us with insight to know what He was thinking all through this journey of Love. For us, INRI means: “I Never Regretted It!”
This Good Friday gives us hope. God’s great love is needed more today than ever before. Let us walk with Jesus as he carries his cross, knowing that any act of Love in Jesus’ name dispels the fears and anxieties we are all feeling.
Jesus gives each of us a command: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another!”
Let us pick up our crosses each and every day and follow Him!