It is Far Easier to Admire Jesus on the Cross than it is to Carry the Cross

Good Friday Homily
March 30, 2018
Sacred Heart, EGF – 3 PM

Focus:             It is far easier to admire Jesus on the Cross than it is to carry the Cross..
Function:       Carry the Cross.

simon and jesus

It is far easier to admire Jesus on the Cross than it is to carry the Cross.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat down in my comfortable chair in my room with a hot cup of coffee to think and pray about this homily. It was finally quiet…and I was ready to admire Jesus on the Cross in the hope that I’d be given an insight to share with you today.

I was mid-sip into my first sip of coffee when the phone rang.

It was a family friend. Her father-in-law was in the Emergency Room.  They were working on him.  Could I come?

The chaplain met me in the ER and brought me to him. The room was full of doctors and nurses as they performed CPR on him.  This was Cal’s Good Friday.  He was experiencing the Cross.  I approached, absolved his sins, and anointed him.

I then joined the family as the doctor was updating them on his condition. There was nothing more they could do.  The doctor said we would be able to see him shortly, and left the room.  I began to pray with the family, that they would be given strength in this moment of grief.  I paused as the nurse came in to tell the family that they could see him.  My friend grasped my hand and said, “Please don’t leave us.”  It was indeed Cal’s Good Friday, but it was also his family’s Good Friday as, like Mary and the Beloved disciple, they stood at the foot of the Cross and watched their husband and father breathe his last.

It is one thing to admire Jesus on the Cross, it is something altogether different to experience the Cross.

It is far easier to admire Jesus on the Cross than it is carry the Cross.

I admire the Cross when I stand in awe of what he did.
I carry it when I allow his suffering to cause me to suffer.

I admire the Cross when, like Peter, I stand at a safe distance…when I stay outside of the courtyard of another’s pain and suffering.

I carry the Cross when, like the Beloved Disciple, I am willing to enter inside the courtyard of suffering, when I stand at the foot of the Cross and offer my presence to another in the midst of their suffering and despair, offering strength and hope by my simple presence, a presence that says “You are not alone. I care.  I love you.”

Brothers and sisters, today our Lord endures his agony. Good Friday is not only remembered, it is made present to us today.  We stand at the foot of Calvary.

As you approach the altar to venerate the Cross today, will you admire the Cross? Or will you carry it?

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