St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

When I survey the wondrous cross… -Homily from Good Friday

When I survey the wondrous cross…                       -Homily from Good Friday

 

Life cannot always be made so serious. Today, however, we can certainly take a

break in our everyday concerns and reflect how serious life is. At least today, on

Good Friday, when we survey the wondrous cross.

 

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

 

For us Christians, life is serious because there is death. We cannot pay attention

only to everyday things, because those things pass away, and there comes death,

and judgment. Life is also serious because Jesus died on the cross for us. He died

for our salvation, so our salvation is important. We cannot live as if this life were

the only thing, because Jesus died to this life to gain the other for us. For a

Christian, life is not only about having fun, about success or having a good time,

but we have to deal also with things we cannot see. Those things are the most

important. People who have everything, but not those things… they never have

enough. People who lack some things of this life, but have God… they don’t need

anything else, as St. Augustine said.

 

This song is useful to reflect on the vanity of life and the importance of Jesus in

our life. When we survey the wondrous cross, we see the Prince of glory, our God,

dead on a cross, like a criminal. How can I be so eager for earthly goods, if my

God is naked on the cross. How can I be so concerned about what people think

about me, when he is being considered a criminal, and is silent. There must be

something wrong with me. He is innocent, but suffers like a criminal. I am guilty,

and try always to enjoy my life, and judge others. There is something wrong here.

Jesus is teaching me what is important. His love for me is important. It is so

important, that he died for me. It is so important, that everything else is loss in

comparison with this. I should rather die before giving up his love. Because he did

die for my love.

 

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

 

When you find the love of your life, you renounce your family, and every

other possible candidate, and commit yourself for life to your love. You give up

everything for someone who loves you in that way. That is what the Cross means

for us Christians. That is why life is so serious and so beautiful. Because no other

love is like this. This is the verse I like the most:

 

See from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

How many times we are so concerned about our appearance, staying fit, looking

well, attracting others, etc. We adorn ourselves… Look at his crown. A crown of

thorns. No other crown in the world is so attractive. It hurts, but it means a lot for

us. How can I be so concerned about my dressing, when his head, my head, wears

a crown of thorns, and a garment of blood. This is what is important, and what

makes life and a person beautiful: the love of Jesus. We are important, we are

great, because our price is that crown of thorns. Jesus loved us to the point of

death: this means that we are special for God. This is what should give support to

our life. And this is why we should live for him, and not for the vain things of the

world. Things pass away quickly; love, his love, will never pass away.

 

When I survey this Jesus mine,

From this his Cross I hear God’s call:

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

 

May we always give time to the one who gave us his life. Jesus died for our love,

may we give him what he desires. May we live for him who died for us. Love is

what makes life beautiful. May we realize that there is no love like the love of Jesus. 

–Fr. Andrew