Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday 2010, April 2nd.

          I was in church this morning for Good Friday service. The church was packed, with an additional 1000 seats outside on the piazza, and this was only 1 of 4 services scheduled for the day.

          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)

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