Homily by Father Rafael Rodriguez-Fuentes
Good Friday Mass of the Lord's Passion
April 3, 2015 in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We all like to receive presents. We are thankful to those who give us gifts. The least we can do is to show our appreciation.
Yesterday on the celebration of Holy Thursday we remember that Jesus as he washed the feet of his disciples reminded us of the importance of giving ourselves for others in the way of sacrifice and through service. But that was just the beginning. For yesterday we also commemorated the amazing gift that Jesus gave us in the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our Faith; the real presence of God.
We also celebrated another amazing gift: the institution of the priesthood. We need to remember that there is no priesthood without the Eucharist; there cannot be any Eucharist without the priesthood; there is no priesthood, nor Eucharist, without Christ. How blessed we are to have the Eucharist and the Priesthood. How often do we give thanks to god for these gifts?
At the end of Yesterday gospel Jesus said, “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” In other words, and as a response to Jesus great love and many gifts that he has given us we are called to: Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34)
And when we could think that Jesus has already given us very great gifts, way beyond of what we deserve. Jesus out of Love for all of us gives his own life on the on the Cross, He who had no guilt, he who was unjustly condemned to die, offered his very life. So that we can be redeemed and have eternal life with him.
As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus as he was dying on the cross said: I Thirst
What a mystery that He who was “The Living water (John 4:10)” now is in agony with thirst.
On the one hand It was natural that he was physically thirsty: He was beaten, bruised and derided to the point of near death. He, who is the King of Love, was given a crown of Thorns, and had four bleeding wounds on his hands and feet and in order to breath he had to push himself up in order to avoid asphyxiation. What a great gift He received after giving us so much for us. How ungrateful we can be!
On the other hand, those who know more than I do say that when Jesus said I Thirst he was thirsting for us, four souls, for our hearts. He wants us to follow him as His true disciples. How could I quench his thirst then? A great way is to give, just as he gave his life on the cross for us, to give our life and hearts in service to and for Him. We are called to truly love God with our Heart, mind and Soul (Mt 22:37) and to love our brothers and sisters as Jesus loved us. For we love God when we obey his commandments; for we show our love for others when we are able to sacrifice for them, as Jesus did for us.
We all like to receive presents don’t we? Today on this solemn evening we are called not only to give thanks to God for all the gifts that he has given us, especially for giving his own life on the cross fro the sake of our salvation. But also we remember that Jesus still thirsts for us, for our hearts. Let’s us truly give Jesus the present of our very self today. Let us truly love him with all our hearts, minds and souls.
May our Blessed Mother, that Jesus entrusted to us from the Cross, intercede for us so that we have the courage to act on God’s grace to truly give Jesus, her son, the gift our life and hearts in the service of our brothers and sisters.