Good Friday homily at the Liturgy of the Passion

30 March 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have just meditated upon the death of our Saviour. Today Jesus’ favourite apostle proclaims his suffering; John who stood beneath the cross with the mother of God. He shows us the suffering Saviour as God and King. The only offering worthy of God, the one sacrifice that redeems the world and brings us back to God, is completed.

Jesus promised that when he would be lifted up from the earth he would draw all things to himself. We belong to him because we come from nothing; by him, for him. We are redeemed by his precious blood. A single drop of the blood of Jesus, the God-man, would have sufficed to save us, for everything in Jesus is of infinite value. For many other reasons and in addition it was to show to us the extent of his love. He shed the last drop of his blood in the words of Saint Paul: “He loved me and delivered himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

His death and total self-giving challenge us about what is at the centre of our life; to leave aside self and sin, to seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which will be available at the conclusion of the liturgy, to know that in drawing close to him our life acquires a new, permanent dimension; from self to God and others, from sin, burden and struggle to leading our life with all its dimensions, looking outward to the God who walks with us to the depth of any sorrow and suffering we may have and outwards to those in need in our society - the Catholics in his own land, those suffering immeasurable loss from the recent bushfires, loss of family, property, community, those who wonder why it all happened at this particular time and in this particular way.

Jesus died for all to give us a new vision, that by looking at the God who went even further than we are asked to go, we might find courage and peace to go on our way through whatever sufferings and challenges to the promise that he makes for us – of life eternal, human life lived for others, the conviction that with Christ we can transform the world and render true service to society.

We seek to have the vision of our life and of other people that Jesus himself had when he went to the cross. He loved us until the end, he forgives us until the end, he invites us to seek the things that are above as the promise of resurrection.

+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.

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