From the Deacon's Desk

Good Friday Homily – Deacon Joseph T. Bartolotto

Who died on the cross on the first Good Friday?

All the Christological controversies and heresies over the centuries through the early church to the present times arose from false answers to this question. Some people say that only the man JESUS writhing, twisting and bleeding and crying out and suffocating on the Roman cross died. –“Can this be the Creator of heaven and earth? Can this be the LORD and GOD of Glory? Others on the opposite end of the spectrum of belief were more astounded that God could be born as a baby and only the human nature of Jesus suffered and died this terrible death and definitely had trouble in believing that the one crucified is the LORD of Glory, the creator of the entire universe!

Incredibly, though, through the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT, The Church, the people of God endured the attacks of the heretics and non-believers who still cling to the offense of the cross, almost embarrassed that the GOD of all creation and the LORD of Glory died on the Cross. We as Church in our wisdom, confess, impossible as it may sound, that our sin crucified the LORD of Glory. “We confess, faith in one LORD, Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father, before all worlds, begotten not made, being one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, who for us and our salvation, came down from heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.”

Yes, throughout this long sentence that is only one subject: Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our LORD. The LORD of Glory! There is absolutely no shift, no change for what the “God the Son” did to what “Jesus the Man” did! Everything that happened to JESUS happened to the Incarnate Son of God, the Son of Mary; everything that Jesus the Man did, God the Son did!

We cannot go through the Gospels dividing Jesus’ story into “man parts” and into “God parts’! The LORD of Glory was baptized by John in Jordan; The LORD of Glory healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead. The LORD of Glory ate at the same table as tax gatherers and sinners, touched and healed lepers;

The LORD of Glory rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, broke bread with His disciples and agonized in prayer in Gethsemane and sweat blood. The LORD of Glory was arrested, beaten, scourged, and put on trial. It is the same LORD of Glory who hung upon the cross for you and for me! That is HIS gift to us, freely given, freely bestowed on each one of us!

Jesus’ death on the cross does not weaken His sovereignty, does not diminish His Divinity, nor takes away from God the Son with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The death of Jesus the Son of God does not contradict His Lordship. Jesus is our LORD, Redeemer and our Sovereign LORD and Savior. The Son of God; The Second person of the Trinity.

The LORD of Glory, gave us His mother, Mary at the foot of the Cross, “Behold your Mother” We are the disciples of Jesus! We are the community of believers and Mary is our center, with Jesus the head of His church! We received the gift of His blessed Mother Mary and we are Jesus’ sisters and brothers. AMEN!

The LORD of Glory, cried out, “I am thirsty!” He who created the heavens and earth and all the waters of the earth – is thirsty! Then realizing He had finished his mission here on earth, said: “Now it is finished!” and Jesus bowed His head and delivered over His Spirit, to us the believing community.

Good Friday and Easter are the hinges of this entire world, which is why we say, B.C. and A.D. Anno Domino, the Year of Our LORD! If there was never a Good Friday there would be no Easter. We would not be remembering Christmas if there was no Good Friday. We remember in sorrow, in mourning, in grief in the sacred respect for our LORD and Savior’s Death. This is not a day for Celebrating; it is a day for somber, serious, mature meditation and reflection on why the LORD of Glory gave us His life for us as Redemption for our Sins; as the only way for us to enter into eternal salvation. This is truly the “hour of Jesus’ Glory,” this Holy Friday is so intimately connected with the Glory of Easter, the day that Jesus triumphed over death. These three Holy days, called the Triduum are the most holy and sacred days for us Christians and we must always keep it so.

The Gospel of Good Friday-Easter is that GOD acts in history through his people, through those who are suffering, through the poor and the oppressed; those who are diminished. God works through the powerless and overcomes the worst that this bent crooked world can do to us to defeat us and to rob us of our Gospel of Life; It destroys infants in the womb and steals away our dignity; as it tried to destroy and steal away the divinity and humanity of our brother and Lord of Glory, Jesus, the Christ! We need Jesus!

This day is so somber and holy, that we as Church dare ask no favors of God, no blessings for anyone, no holy water, we sing no joyous songs. We even hoard some consecrated sacred bread, and bring it in quietly from the Mass

Deacon Joseph T. Bartolotto, # :.

 

 


 
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