A BRIEF HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY – CYCLES “A”, “B”, & “C”, 4/3/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Every year, on Good Friday, we read St. John’s version of the Passion. On Palm Sunday, we get the rotating cycle of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But on Good Friday, it is as though the Church saves the best for today. And as we read St. John’s Passion story, like the others, there are many people that we could talk about. We could talk about Peter, or Judas, or Pilate, or Mary Magdalene. But perhaps the most interesting person for us to talk about is young John himself, who is telling us this story. You see, St. Matthew has a Passion story in his Gospel, but we know that St. Matthew, like the rest of the Apostles, ran away and deserted Jesus during His Passion. Matthew wasn’t an eyewitness. And we also know that Mark and Luke would become important evangelists in the Church later on. Neither of them most likely are eyewitnesses either. They’ve heard the Passion story from someone else, in fact, quite possibly, from St. John. Young St. John saw it all! And he was also so much a part of Jesus’ Passion.
You see, unlike the rest, St. John didn’t run away. He was right there at the foot of the Cross. Now how and why this happened, we don’t know. First of all, a crucifixion was not a place for young people. Certainly St. John saw and heard things on Mt. Calvary that day that he had never heard of seen before! And why wasn’t St. John afraid. Was John just that naïve? Didn’t he understand that if the Jewish leaders would do this to Jesus, that they were just as likely to do it to Jesus’ closest followers? And that he could be next? And where in the world was his older brother, James. James apparently ran away also. Didn’t it cross James’ mind that maybe he should take along his little brother, who was in his early teens? And what about Mama and Papa Zebedee? We know that Mrs. Zebedee maintained contact with her boys after they left to follow Jesus. Did they know where their younger son was on that first Good Friday afternoon? For whatever reason, St. John was there. You know, we sing that song, every Good Friday, “Where you there when they crucified my Lord?” St. John was one of the few people who could actually say, “Yes, I was there.”
St. John’s sticking with Jesus, his perseverance in his Faith, even through Jesus’ worst time, is inspirational to all of us. For because of his love for Jesus, St. John was loosing perhaps his best friend and mentor. John couldn’t leave because he loved Jesus. Any more than Jesus could come down from that Cross, because His love for us held Him there! St. John wasn’t going any where. And possibly because of his young age, nobody lays a finger on St. John. Everyone, including God, allows St. John to be an eyewitness, to God’s greatest saving action. This is important because today St. John shares his story with all of us, so that we too can believe, so that we too can have Faith!
Like young St. John, we are all also called to stick with Jesus through it all! We are called to perseverance! We are called to persevere even through crosses, our own crosses, and the crosses of others whom we love. And with God’s help, we can. It is John himself who tells us about the incredible gift that God have to him and to His Church, in giving us His Mother, Mary. Mary was a great source of strength for young John. That would last throughout his life, even when he wasn’t “young” John any more. May we recognize all the gifts that God gives us from the Cross, most especially His Mother, Mary. We too can persevere, like St. John. We just can’t do it by ourselves. On this Good Friday, may we remember that!
God bless on this special day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!