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Homilies - Bishop Brendan Leahy

Good Friday, 2021 - St. John's Cathedral


After the moving reading of the Passion, the best response is to let what we have heard speak to our heart…

Just one thought that I would share with you. Recently I heard someone from South America speaking about how she lives the Gospel, her Christian faith in the context of big social problems in her country.

She explained there has been a lot of social unrest and revolt there in recent years, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer. She shared how she tries to recognise the face of Jesus Crucified crying out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in all the faces of suffering she meets day by day.

She pointed out that we often say “God became man” but we also need to see on the Cross that when God chose to come among us, he chose above all the place of vulnerability, of exclusion, of poverty, of the victim, the place of differences, of the migrant, of the abandoned, and the lonely.

She went to say that followers of Jesus need to know they are called to enter the darkness, the mud, the despair of lack of dignity, the districts of the unwanted, the many labyrinths of the hopeless, the thousand different poverties of today. Many times my prayer, she said, is simply this: “I ask to be more in love”, that is, in love of God and love of her sisters and brothers who are lonely.

That line struck me: “I ask to be more in love”. As we come before Jesus Crucified today, we too can make this simple prayer. We could analyse situations, complain about others, despair of how things are going, but before the Cross with God’s love pouring out for us, we look into Jesus’ eyes so full of love and mercy, and offer him our humble prayer: “Lord, help me be more in love”.