Posted by: matt25 | April 22, 2014

A Witness to the Crucifixtion

On Good Friday I preached the homily at my home parish.  To be honest I felt that it needed more work but I was out of time.  I decided to give it a practice run and had my wife Mary Jane listen to it and she and I were both deeply moved by hearing it spoken.  At that point I felt that I had been given a gift and left it as it was.

I was approached in the sacristy after the service by someone who was also deeply moved by the message and did not believe me at first when I said I had written it.  I then took that same message to a local prison and shared it with my brothers behind bars in an ecumenical setting.  I added one sentence to the end.  They too were moved.

Several people suggested to me that I should publish it.  But I think that if God gave a gift in my writing that day, it was meant to be shared.  You may feel free to share this with others if you believe they will find it beneficial.  I only ask that you link it back to this post if you share it, on the off chance that someday if I publish, there will be no questions about when and where it was written.

The recording from our liturgy for Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord is below, followed by a written copy.

May God who gave all for us, richly bless you through contemplating upon and uniting yourself to his life, death, and resurrection.

Peace.

 

Some people think about me a lot, but not most people.

Still once a year, a great many will stand in line just to show their respect for me.
I don’t really know why.

Frankly I don’t think some of them understand why they do it either.
Maybe it is because other people they know are doing it,
or maybe there is something much more.
Perhaps, even though I am just wood that was fashioned as a cross,
circumstances turned me into something else altogether.

You see some soldiers forced a man to pick me up and carry me,
At least I thought he was a man underneath all of that blood,
It was a terrible sight.
He was very weak from the cruel treatment and torture that he had suffered,
So weak in fact that he kept staggering and falling.

The soldiers got tired of that and made someone else help him.

There were so many people watching us,
Some were crying but far more were spitting and yelling.

Then we got to the top of a hill and a horrible thing happened,
The soldiers nailed the man’s hands and feet to me!

We screamed together in pain.

As we were nailed together, he and I,
I witnessed the most incredible strength from this shell of a man,
hanging from me for hours.

He called out and asked his father to forgive the people who did this to him.
How could he forgive them?
I didn’t understand.

He lifted himself in agony
and said to another man hanging on a cross next to us
that today he would be with him in paradise.
I wonder what he meant by that?

Later looking down at a man and woman who sobbed as they stayed with us,
He told them “Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.”

He said only a few other things, these I thought I understood but I can’t be sure.
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
“I thirst.
“It is finished.”

The soldiers came back and one of them pieced his side with a lance,
Blood and water flowed out of him and down me to the earth.

Finally some people came and gently removed his body from me
And took him away to bury him.

I am just wood that was fashioned as a cross but now I am something more.
I was and always will be a witness to what happened that day.
It was the greatest act of unselfish love,
the most courageous act of obedience
the most incredible act of heroism and forgiveness the world will ever see.

Maybe that is why people stand in line to show their respect for me.
Because it isn’t about me.

It is about the man who carried me.

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. […] to keep me on track but I very seldom actually read it, although I departed from that practice for my homily for Good Friday.  In this way I hope to be structured and free to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit at the […]


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