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Homilies - Bishop Brendan Leahy

18 April 2014 - Good Friday Mass - St John's Cathedral


Jesus was harshly dealt with physically, but even more he experienced the collapse and loss of so many relationships. Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, Pilate condemned him, the soldiers derided him.

In the end he had to let go even of those closest to him – Mary, his mother and John the Beloved Disciple. So many wounded relationships.

As the Limerick poet, Tadhg Gaelach Ó Suilleabháin put it, Jesus was “astray…from heaven, tormented in our midst in a way that cannot be estimated”. [“Ar fán… ó neamh…cráite trínne, i slí nach léir a mheas”.]

Yet he was wounded so that we might be healed.

He went through betrayal that we might discover fidelity.

He felt abandoned that we might have unity with God and one another.

He experienced darkness that we might have light.

Yes, he has entered into every sorrow and suffering, every wound, every sense of being astray. No matter what we go through he is there with us and in us, living our Cross with us and for us. 

To those who are despairing, he is hope.

To those who are lonely, he is company.

To those who experience violence, he is sanctuary.

To those who are divided and not reconciled, he is the source of unity.