Mary Ellen Wardell For all of you who might be wondering why Lyn printed and shared this, it's because I thought it was such a meaningful homily, I asked to have the hard copy. He touched on the real reason as to WHY we should go to church and the reason behind the Good Friday "celebration". I hope it "clicks" with at least one person. So, once again, Lyn, thank you.
So Here we are Good Friday. In the day of death, more accurate the day of dying, not necessarily the last breath dying. But all the dying that proceeds the last dying. Good Friday celebrates all the moments in our lives that “Simply did not work out.” Celebrates all the moments that we quote,” Just couldn’t do it anymore.” All the moments that it becomes clear that were not in control. All the moments we can’t work our will. Good Friday occurs when life demands we surrender, we let go. That we relinquish. We are in the vicinity of Good Friday when with respect to our job, our faith, our sexuality, our family, our bodies, our marriages, our relationships, our dreams, our finances, our country, war, the environment, our church, our God, we find ourselves saying, “ This is not the way I expected it to be.” Good Friday celebrates the loss, grief and dying. Good Friday reminds us that “time is a factor.” That at any given moment and in every given moment we are cascading into our mortality. Good Friday reminds us that we can’t outrun dying. That we can get only so many second opinions. We can eat all the fish & yogurt we want & Still...!
So why do we call this Friday Good? And have a celebration? Because it’s the 2nd day of the paschal mystery, a dynamitic , ambiguous, painful, demanding & potential graceful component of a larger life giving mystery- paschal mystery.
Even though we live in a culture that death is the enemy. Dying is part of a process that gets us to Easter. I’m not saying it’s easy. But dying is not the worst. Our culture suggests it’s bad, that it can’t get any worse than dying. NOT getting to Easter is the worst. Dying is not the worst. Dying is the 2nd day of the paschal mystery which means it is potentially full of grace. Like all the days of the paschal mystery. Full enough to get us through Good Friday and into Easter and the Resurrection!
We are not alone on Good Friday. We share this day with all those who preceded us. We share it with all those current participating in the paschal mystery. We share this day mysteriously and intimately with Jesus. We are not alone on Good Friday. Look around. Someone is visiting Good Friday because a marriage in strained. Another because of the strain of not being married. Someone is being asked to die to a long standing fear or enduring hurt. Someone is beckoned to Good Friday because their Body doesn’t look or work like it is suppose to. Or like it use to. Because their body aches or is in pain or is sick. Someone has been brought to the cross as a result of loneliness, anger, or depression. Addictions of all kinds demand that some make a visit to the cross the 2nd day of the paschal mystery. With respect to their financial situation someone is whispering, “I never expected it to be this way. And as a result is brought to the foot of the cross. Someone's relationship to the gift, grace, sacrament and challenge and threat of sexuality is beckoning them to Good Friday. Is asking them to let go, relinquish, surrender. Someone has made the pilgrimage to Good Friday because a parent has become a child. Another because they have lost their parents and have no one to commiserate with about just how difficult it is to be a parent. The 2nd day of the paschal mystery has become home to someone with respect to their job, or a particular relationship they find themselves whispering despite there best efforts, “This is not the way I expected it to be.” Someone is lying at the foot of the cross curled in a fetal position because faith, church, or God as they once new they simply are not working any more. It is crowded at Good Friday. And Jesus stands in the middle of the crowd. Proclaiming tenderly, fiercely, mercifully, Come to me you who are weary and heavy burdened and I’ll give you rest. Come to me all you who beckon to the 2nd day of the paschal mystery all those who have died and I will hold you as we wait for Easter to dawn. Good Friday is the 2nd day of the paschal mystery. It’s full of grace, and some of us are their now if we have the courage to be honest. With respect to our grandchildren, children, health, with respect with our relationship with God. I would just like to welcome you there as someone familiar with the 2nd day of the paschal mystery, Good Friday.
To help us get through this day our God feeds us again with himself to strengthen us for the journey. Just as Jesus had faith in the Father we too are to have faith in our God who has promised us through the centuries that he will not leave us alone. He will be with us as we walk our own journey of faith. We do have to walk this journey by ourselves knowing that our God is with us. Knowing that Jesus has shown us the way. For he is the way the truth and the life. So look up and around you Recognizing Emanuel – our God is with us!!