Homily for Good Friday, 2010

Good Friday 2010
Father Tom’s Homily

Jesus seemed to be a failed Messiah, as people considered him nailed naked to a cross, dying in a most public and scandalous way. The common wisdom was that crucifixion was a sign of God’s condemnation.
In his scandalous execution as a criminal, Jesus was a discredited Messiah. He should have no claim on our loyalty and faith. Yet today we kneel in wonder and worship before the crucified Jesus.

It is ironic that the first recorded act of faith in Jesus’ true identity as the Messiah was by the military official who had presided over Jesus’ utterly cruel execution.
The centurion, a high ranking Roman officer, had watched his terribly battered prisoner whisper his last words and die. And he announced “Truly this is the Son of God.”
God had been discovered in the poor despised victim of official murder. The executioner had found God.

Jesus entered into the deepest darkness to be vilified, tortured and killed, in order to accompany the victims of human sinfulness out of that darkness into God’s light.
Tonight we accompany Jesus into that darkness because it is a powerful reminder of the unconditional love of God for broken humanity. In the suffering and cruel death of Jesus we observe the presence of God in human suffering.
The Crucified Messiah is the ultimate expression of the heart of God. How fierce and immeasurable is the wildly passionate love of God for us.