Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion | April 14, 2017
Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
PROTIP: You can take a look at the readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.
So last week I was at the trial of a man accused of murdering my former student.
As we sat in that courtroom day after day, my mind could not help but think of another trial, the trial that we memorialize this evening.
For as I stared at the pictures of my student stripped naked, marred by the thrust of a knife that pierced his body again and again, I could not help but think of another young man thrust through with a lance, pierced with nails, and stripped naked before the crowd.
As I watched his mother sitting there, tears rolling down her face, I could not help but think of another mother, a mother who followed the cross, tears rolling down her own cheeks over the loss of her son.
Truly last week felt like an eternally long Good Friday.
And I must be honest, there were times in which it was really hard to find God amidst the darkness and pain.
Where was God as a witness recalled holding one of his best friends in his arms as he bled to death on the sidewalk?
Where was God as a brother tells me that he used to believe the world was a good place, but now he realizes that it is all a façade. For how can a world be good, when brothers are murdered without a chance to say goodbye, to say I love you.
Where was God?
I must admit, it was the question I was struggling with, when I walked out of court one afternoon. But then my student’s mom stopped me, looked around, and said. . . Aren’t people good?
I was stunned. What??? We just spent the last three hours listening to every graphic detail of how your son was murdered. And this is your conclusion?? That people are good??
She continued. Look around, Father Brian, every person here is here because they loved my son and they love my family. We could not make it through without their love and support. People really are good to us.
And that my friends, I believe is the essence of Good Friday.
For on a day in which all seemed dark. On the day when we witnessed the worst in people . . . when friends betrayed and denied their dearest friend. On a day in which Christ himself would cry out in despair. We were reminded that people are still good.
For Christ was never alone. He was still surrounded by people who loved him and supported him. Who were the face of God to him even in the darkest hours.
His mother. His beloved disciple. Simon. Mary Magdalene. Joseph of Arimathea.
And in turn, when we face our own Good Fridays, may we always recall that we too are never alone. For we have a God who chose to offer his life for the sake of those he loved, for the sake of us. And in turn, he invites us to do the same.
For that is what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ.
It means that we are good. For we are made in the image and likeness of a loving God.
It means that we are not alone.
And it means, in turn, that we must be the face of Christ to those who will need us when they face their road to Calvary.
So let us be the goodness that marks this Friday. So that together we can walk into our Easter Sunday.
May God be Praised