As usual, the theme for almost every Good Friday always revolve around The Passion of the Christ. Friar John Paul preached on the symbolism of the cross. Over the years, I have heard many variations on this theme, but of all the sermons that I can remember, only one has been vividly etched deep into my brain.
Back in 1987, there was a visiting missioner, Franciscan Friar Desmond Lean ofm, who was invited to preach at the Good Friday service. To paraphrase his sermon this was what he preached...
"When I look at the cross, 3 things come to my mind," then he told a story of his little niece Sarah. "Sarah, do you love your uncle Des? how much do you love uncle Des? Do you love me this much?" making a gap with his index finger and thumb. Sarah shook her head.
"Do you love me this much?" making a space between his two palms about the size of a breadbox. Sarah shook her head again. "then how much do you love your uncle Des?"
Sarah said, "I love you this muchhh!" and spread her arms outstretched.
I love you this muchhh!
"The second thing I see when I look at the cross is that it is a crossroad where the directions converge onto one point. And like all things in life, Christ should be where all our directions lead to.
The third thing I see when I look at the crucifix is that it is on the back. The cross is something we bear, a burden that can be heavy at times but it is always on our backs. It is something we carry all our life."
Friar Des Lean's words struck a chord right within me at that time and has remained with me all these years. I remember Fr Des Lean. (extract courtesy of Bro George Boggs ofm)