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FULL TEXT: Homily of Rev. JP Catilogo on Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion – April 10, 2020

Today is Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion and we see Jesus on the Cross… Today we remember the death of Jesus, the Word made Flesh, on the Cross. And, brothers and sisters, as we gaze upon the crucifix, either sa hawak natin ngayon, or yung nakasabit sa ating pintuan, o yung ginawa natin sa ating mga bahay, Jesus on the Cross and the passion narrative according to John graphically reminds us two simple things in this pandemic and crisis: 

First, Jesus on the Cross reminds us, na iniibig tayo ni Hesus. Iniibig tayo ni Hesus. And this love never changes and waivers. Yes. Tama po…pag-ibig na hindi pabago-bago, o nagbabago at hindi tumatalikod sa minamahal. Hindi tulad natin, na kung minsan nagbabago, maganda lang sa simula, at kapag nahihirapan na ay tumatalikod at sumusuko agad. Ngunit iba si Hesus magmahal, iba si Hesus kung umibig. At pinakita niya ito sa krus at kan’yang kamatayan. Jesus’ crucifixion and death, from the very beginning, is his major point in coming to show us what love is and how to love. Ibinaba niya ang kan’yang sarili upang tayo ay itaas. Namatay siya upang tayo ay mabuhay. Kaya nga ang tawag natin sa rurok ng pagdiriwang ng simbahan ay Mga Mahal na Araw sapagkat ang Panginoong Hesus at ang kan’yang pag-aalay ang halaga nito. Mga Mahal na Araw kasi, it showed God’s love and He paid costly our debt, our sins by his own precious life. 

Mahalagang paalala ito sa atin sa panahon ng kahirapan, sa mga pinagdadaan natin ngayon – mahal tayo ng Diyos at itong pagmamahal niya ay hindi pabago-bago. Sa krus ni Hesus ay tila sinasabi n’ya sa atin – “buo ka, sapat ka, mahalaga ka at hindi ka nagiisa sa kalungkutan at kahirapanan, papagalingin kita, sasamahan kita.” Wag kang mawalan ng pag asa! He tells us we are not alone. He knows our pain. God didn’t save us from suffering; he saves us through suffering. Kaya he shares our pain.  Kasama natin si Hesus, kasama natin siya lalong-lalo na sa panahon na ito. Maniwala ka!

And this leads us to our second point, Jesus on the Cross reminds us that he is trustworthy, that he is the person most worthy of our trust kasi kahit sa kahirapan, kahit sa kamatayan, He was faithful to his promise, God is faithful until the end.

Kung titingnan natin, the history of salvation began with a breakdown of trust. The devil tempted our first parents, and our first parents started to be suspicious, started to have doubts and questions, at dahan-dahan nasira ang kanilang pagtitiwala kasabay ng pagkasira ng relasyon nila sa Diyos. And from that very moment – we needed a Savior, we needed someone who could re-establish communion between the human race and God. At dito po pumasok si Hesus at ang kanyang misyon. Christ’s cross connected us to God. On the cross, Christ trusted his Father for us, and in our place, kabaliktaran ng kawalang tiwala ng ating mga unang magulang.

Christ’s limitless trust in God rebuilt the bridge between us and God that our first parents’ lack of trust had destroyed. That’s what we mean when we say that Christ saved us by dying on the cross for us.

At sa sitwasyon natin ngayon, trusting God is the most important thing for us, but it’s also the hardest. Unang-una kasi we have been wounded by people we have trusted before, people who have let us down… and the result, dahan-dahan tayong naglagay ng napakataas na pader sa ating mga puso at buhay to protect ourselves from being let down again and again. And those walls, sadly, also keep out God. Kaya He came up with a way to win back our trust, and that is the Passion of our Lord. And Jesus on the Cross tells us I will keep on loving you. I will never let you down. Kahit na nasaktan s’ya – we rejected him, scourged him, crowned him with thorns, betrayed him, and even crucified him, He was faithful until the end and his prayer was “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” This made us realized that his love and faithfulness doesn’t depend us being good, or perfect… we can trust him completely regardless of who we are.

In silence, look at the cross, and renew your love, renew your trust to the Lord. Pray for healing. Pray for strength. Pray for our modern heroes, our front liners. At isabuhay ang mga paalala ni Hesus ngayon araw – mahal niya tayo, tapat sya sa kanyang mga pangako. Hindi niya tayo iiwan, ngayon at magpakailanman. Amen.

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