22 April 2011

Our Lord is dead!

Good Friday (A)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Joseph Church, Ponchatoula

Our Lord is dead! Thanks be to God, our Lord is dead.

We Catholics are often accused of being a bit strange if not outright bizarre. We worship statues, pieces of bread; venerate bones and pieces of cloth; we march around towns in funny costumes, singing hymns in a dead language. As odd as these may be nothing quite compares to our Good Friday celebrations. Granted, what we actually do and say isn't all that odd; well, no odder than usual. No, what's odd, maybe even cruel, is that we celebrate the execution of our Savior. We celebrate the brutal beating and bloody death of a man we claim to love and honor. Surely, we deserve to be called “perverse” for believing that such a horrible death is worthy of celebration. Perverse or not, we do celebrate; we offer God thanks and praise for this sacrifice. For without it, we would still labor for the Devil as slaves of sin. But b/c of it, we are free. 

Good Friday then is as much a feast day of our freedom from sin as it is a memorial of Christ's death on the cross. Therefore, with each lash, thanks for your liberation. With each nail, praise God that you are ransomed. And when you come forward to kiss the altar of the cross, give yourself over again to the Love Who is your King. 

Our Lord is dead! Thanks to be God, our Lord is dead.

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