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Jesus: He is either 'in our way' or he is 'the way'

Archbishop Wenski's homily on Good Friday 2020

Archbishop Thomas Wenski preached this homily at the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, celebrated at St. Mary Cathedral April 10, 2020, and livestreamed via the archdiocese’s Facebookand website pages.

Shortly before his arrest and execution, Jesus told Thomas and the other Apostles: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This “I am” of Jesus – which is repeated at the beginning of the Passion Narrative – is suggestive of the very name of God revealed to Moses. It does not allow one to take a neutral position before Jesus.

Either he is what he said he was – or either he is a fraud, a false prophet or he is a delusional lunatic. There is really no middle ground. If Jesus is who he said he was, then he is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life. If he is who he said he was, then he does have the power to redeem us, to forgive our sins, to bring us to new life.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski prays the Our Father before distributing Communion during the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion of the Lord celebrated in a nearly empty St. Mary Cathedral, April 10, 2020.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski prays the Our Father before distributing Communion during the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion of the Lord celebrated in a nearly empty St. Mary Cathedral, April 10, 2020.

Then, there is nothing for us to do but to set off along the Way that is Jesus – to conform ourselves to the Truth that is Jesus and to embrace the Life that is Jesus.

If we don’t believe that Jesus is the Way; then he will be for us “in the way.” As happened in Jerusalem two millennia ago, he will be in the way of our own ambitions, our own pursuits; he will be in the way of our will, of our assertion of self. And, if he is in the way, then we will try to avoid him, or go around him, and when we can’t: then, just like the authorities of his time, just like the crowds in Jerusalem, we will mock him, ridicule him and crucify him again.

In the Acts of the Apostles, the first followers of the Risen Lord were simply described as followers of the Way. And because they were of the way – and you can’t really be “of the Way” without yourself getting “in the way” as well – they too suffered ridicule, persecution and often martyrdom. As Jesus himself tells us: if they hate you, know that they hated me before you.

Jesús nos ha dicho: Yo soy el Camino, la Verdad, y la Vida. Si no lo creemos entonces el sería para nosotros “un obstáculo”. Y entonces, si entorpece nuestro camino, tratamos de evitarlo, o de pasar lejos de él, y cuando no podemos, entonces, al igual que las autoridades de su época, al igual que las multitudes en Jerusalén, nos burlamos de él, lo ridiculizamos y lo volvemos a crucificar.

Hoy, Viernes Santo, se nos invita a venerar la cruz – y, al hacerlo, debemos aceptar también las cruces que encontramos en nuestro camino. Esas cruces no son tantos obstáculos entorpeciendo nuestro camino, por el contrario, son el mismo camino. Pues, Jesús nos ha prometido la gloria. Pero nos dice que el camino hacia la gloria pasa por el sendero de la cruz.

Vivamos este tiempo con fe ofreciendo nuestras oraciones por los que han quedado sin empleo, por los enfermos, por los difuntos, y por todos nosotros.

Sevis jodi a nou rele Lofis – paske jodi a, Vandredi Sen, nou pa fè lamès. Men, Jodi a, se reflechi n ap reflechi sou kwa Jezi pote pou nou. Kwa sa a se poto mitan lafwa nou paske wout lavi a, wout laglwa leve byen vivan an pase pa chemen kwa a. Epi, fò nou konprann si nou vle mache ak Jezi pou n rive viv avè l nan bèlte a, si nou vle jwenn moso pa n nan viktwa li sou peche ak lanmò a, fò n aksepte pran kwa nou pou n mache deyè l. Alekile, fò nou konprann kwa pa nou yo pa tankou obtak ki jennen nou, ki kontrarye nou; men, fò nou konprann kwa pa nou yo kòm chemen k ap mennen nou nan lavi tou nèf Jezi vle fè n kado a.

Today’s celebration of the Passion invites us to venerate the cross – and in doing so we wish to accept the crosses we find in our lives not as being “in our way” but as being “our way” to enter into the glory of Jesus who in dying destroyed our death and in rising restored our life.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, center, accompanied by two deacons, lies prostrate on the sanctuary of St. Mary Cathedral in Miami at the start of the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion of the Lord, April 10, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only Missionaries of Charity and a few cathedral staff were present. The Mass was livestreamed on the Archdiocese of Miami's Facebook and YouTube pages.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, center, accompanied by two deacons, lies prostrate on the sanctuary of St. Mary Cathedral in Miami at the start of the Good Friday liturgy of the Passion of the Lord, April 10, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only Missionaries of Charity and a few cathedral staff were present. The Mass was livestreamed on the Archdiocese of Miami's Facebook and YouTube pages.


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