Homily ·Lent
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
April 14, 2017

My brothers and sisters in Christ,1

In the darkness of Our Lord’s passion and death, we see the light of God’s love and mercy.

When we hear today’s readings, we rediscover the love of God for us. We truly know that our soul is worth to God.

We are worth everything to God.

The suffering of Christ is the suffering of his love for us. His heart is opened on the Cross — for us. For you and for me.

And Jesus asks us today — to open our hearts to allow his love to enter in.

Jesus speaks to us from the Cross today and he says: “I thirst.”

Only we can satisfy his thirst. You and I. Because what he’s thirsty for is our love. This is why he suffers. To prove his love. To win our love.

He came to us to show the glory — the greater things that we are made for.

And this is the truth that Jesus is talking about to Pontius Pilate in the Gospel today.

For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

Jesus said to Pilate. My dear brothers and sisters, Jesus came to bring the truth about who we are. The truth that we are born for God. The truth that we are made to love him and made to share in his divine life.

The truth that Jesus speaks from the Cross — is the truth that your sins and my sins are forgiven. It is the truth that God loves us to the end, with a love that will never die.

So when we look at the wood of the Cross, we know that Jesus has given everything for us — again for you and for me. To free us from sin. To free us from guilt.

The prophet Isaiah tells us in the first reading:

The Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.

He forgives even those who kill him. So he can forgive you and he can forgive me.

This is why we call it “Good” Friday. Because in his mercy, we know his forgiveness.

So we can stop hanging on to our guilt, to our sense that we are not worthy. Jesus has freed us from all of that.

Nothing now can separate us from the love of God. Nothing! Not pain or loss, not suffering or death.

So when we look at Jesus on the Cross, we see his love.

And he calls us now to take up our cross and follow him. The love that he has shown to us — he wants us to show to him.

“I thirst.” He thirsts for your love, and for my love. We need to listen to his voice. We need to satisfy his thirst.

He calls each one of us today to make a new conversion. To open our hearts again to him. So we need to give our lives in love to Jesus — as he has given his life in love for us.

So today, once again, we can tell Jesus that we want to accompany and walk in his footsteps and help him to redeem the world.

And we can help him by trying to live holy lives. By trying to build up the Church and her mission. By trying to bring many people to come closer to Jesus Christ and find the real meaning of their lives.

And of course my dear brothers and sisters, as we trace the last steps of Jesus to the Cross, we know that the story continues.

May Our Blessed Mother Mary accompany us in our prayer — as we continue to follow him.

Let us pray that our sorrow will be turned into joy, when we stand together at his empty tomb on Easter Sunday.

1. Readings (Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, Year A): Isa. 52:13-53:12; Ps. 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25; Heb. 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42.

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