Good Friday Homily by Deacon Bruce

A homily after the reading of the Passion seems a bit obtuse, for how much could be said about what we just listened to beyond the story itself.  Nonetheless, I have four points to share this evening to generate a little further reflection.  The first part is a reminder of the Rescue plan, the second part is the story of a young boy, the third part is of a hero, and the final part is a simple realization.

Part 1: How did we get here?  As the human race, how did we get to the point where our Lord and Savior needed to be brutally beaten and crucified for our salvation?  Well, let’s review the story of creation and some early history of humanity.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, He created the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and the animals of the earth, and it was good.  God created man and woman, and it was very good. But then, sin entered the world – the fall of mankind through Original Sin.  Evil enveloped the land and God sent the great flood.  From that came the Old Testament covenant of Noah in which God said he would never flood the earth again. Then came the Covenant of Abraham that God would make a great nation of his descendants. The Mosaic Covenant: God established a covenant with Moses in which the Jewish people were freed from slavery and became God’s special possession. The Davidic Covenant: God established a covenant with David that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants.  But still the people were thick-headed, the line of kings from David’s line was less than stellar, but then came the rescue plan!  Our Lord and Savior came into the world – this was the plan from the beginning.  He came, he lived and today we commemorate his death.

Part 2:  I knew a boy once, who always struggled with the Good Friday passion.  He told a story about how he, as a young boy, had a sense of uneasiness walking into the church on Good Friday, knowing that he would be calling out for Jesus to be crucified during the passion reading.  It terrified him.

As a boy, he remembered being angry with Pontius Pilate.  He thought, if you knew he was innocent, why didn’t you have some courage man – why didn’t you let him go!

As a boy, he always struggled with Judas.  He was one of Jesus’ closest friends, yet he traded that friendship for 30 pieces of silver.  Why Judas?  Why???  The boy said, “I would never do something like that!  No way!  No how!”

As a boy, he always struggled with the lines in the Passion where the crowd yelled for Jesus to be crucified.  He remembered choosing NOT to call out for His crucifixion.  He loved Jesus way too much to be the one responsible for calling out for His crucifixion.  He chose to stand silently and not say those lines during the passion reading.  When it was time for the crowd to say, ‘crucify him’, he would say nothing at all.  But he also remembered hearing his mom say those words “Crucify Him”, and he thought, Mom, NO, don’t say that! Why would you say that, Mom?  He would remember hearing his dad say those words too, “Crucify Him!” and he thought, Dad, please NO!  Not you too! Why would you say that, Dad?  Don’t you know what you are saying?  How could you call out for him to be crucified?  Don’t let that happen!  Can’t you stop this Dad?!  Can’t you stop the hammering of the nails through His hands and feet?  PLEASE!  Can’t you take that hammer away and make it so this would not happen?

He remembered tears rolling down my cheek and desperately wanting to be someone in that crowd who could put a stop to all of Jesus’ misery.  He imagined himself standing next to Mary and crying with her.

As a boy, he always struggled with the soldiers.  He remembered wanting to yell at the soldiers, “How could you possibly beat Jesus so badly?”  He imagined himself running up Mount Calvary and hiding the hammers from the soldiers.  He so desperately wanted to keep this from happening.  In his imagination, he would get to the hammers and run.  He talked about the weight of the hammer in his hand.

Yet, to no end, the crucifixion still happened.  He couldn’t stop it, but oh how he wanted to get rid of those hammers.


Part 3: Have you ever wondered what you would do if you knew you had one day to live? Who would you spend time with? What would you want to accomplish? Would there be a special meal you’d like to have? Where would you want to spend your last day?


I know a guy who knew he had one day to live. He chose to bring his closest friends together to spend time with them for one last day. He called them all and invited them to dinner. While at dinner, he told them how much he loved them all and told them that he would not be with them much longer. They had a simple dinner together with a glass of wine, and then he paused and looked at them with his loving eyes, and he stooped to wash their feet.

I know a guy who spent his last evening praying fervently.  He prayed so hard that he sweat drops of blood.

I know a guy who invited his closest and dearest friends to spend the last night with him praying, but they fell asleep as they watched him pray.

I know a guy who allowed himself to be beaten, mocked, and spit on and he chose to turn the other cheek.

I know a guy who was put on trial, and judged to be innocent, yet he still was scourged with whips that ripped at his flesh.

I know a guy who was a king, and he wore a crown of thorns upon his brow.

I know a guy who carried a cross on which he was to be crucified through his hands and his feet.

I know a guy who hung on that cross, struggling to breathe while watching his mother mourn at his feet.

I know a guy who could have stopped all of this, yet he willingly chose to suffer out of his love for you and me.

Part 4:  I realized that I also happened to know the guy who was responsible for all of the torture that Jesus endured at the scourging pillar.

I know the guy who was responsible for the crown of thorns on his head.

I know the guy who yelled out for Jesus to be crucified.

I know the guy who put the nails through Jesus’ hands and feet.

I know the guy who held that hammer.  The same hammer that the young boy wanted to run away with was the hammer that I now hold in my hands.

I know a guy who was responsible for Jesus’ passion and crucifixion.

I know a guy…

Lord have mercy on me and on the whole world.  For we all hold the hammer in our hands.


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