My Dear friends in Christ!
We continue our Paschal Celebrations we began last night at Rye. This afternoon we pause to contemplate and to embrace Jesus’ Passion. Let’s remember that his death wasn’t an accident. It was a consequence of the choice he made when he committed himself to love us his sisters and brothers. Using the story I told you before: Jesus remembered and remembers that he is our Savior, even if we forget that, and he acts accordingly. Like that husband who continued caring for his wife without expecting a thank you dinner for his efforts Jesus cares for us without waiting for our gratitude.
Go back to the Gospel we have just heard, no flowers and chocolate boxes placed at the foot of the cross by grateful crowds, as there were no grateful crowds there. What did keep Jesus walking up to the Calvary though? It was what kept the man caring for his wife suffering from dementia. The man remembered that he was the husband to his wife and Jesus remembered that he was the Saviour to us. Both of them acted accordingly.
This Good Friday as we join Our Blessed Mother, John, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala at the foot of the cross we acknowledge that being a Christian isn’t simply about what we do for Christ but it is what our Lord has done for us by his life, death and Resurrection. That’s why I don’t picture faith as walking on the water rather it is walking on something solid, concrete and unchangeable: Christ’s commitment to save us.
To finish this homily let me ask you a question: In the Gospel Our Blessed Lord is called: Saviour, Messiah, Son of David, Good Shepherd, Master, Rabbuni, King of the Jews, Master, Jesus the Nazarene but only once a human being calls him simply Jesus, in a very personal and intimate way, like a close friend would do. Do you know who spoke to Our Blessed Lord in this way? The criminal crucified on Jesus’ side. Amazing, the man whose life was so corrupted by his evil actions was able to become a friend to the Lord because Jesus remembered who he was to that criminal: his Saviour.
My Dear friends! If you are here it means that dementia hasn’t hit you yet. You remember who Jesus is to you. But as you walk or drive home this afternoon, under your breath sing this chant which recalls the last words of the crucified criminal, in the same personal and intimate way, as a close friend of Jesus. Before you are murmuring those words in your vehicle today let’s sing them together first now: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”