Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday
Ecce Homo

The power of love is a curious thing.
Make a one man weep, make another man sing.
Change a hawk to a little white dove.
More than a feeling that's the power of love...  

Sisters and brothers, I think at least some of you will recognise these words. They are the opening lines to the song featured in the movie Back to the Future, and popularised by Huey Lewis and the News. The song is entitled The Power of Love. Strange as it may seem, I think this secular song can actually help us ponder more deeply upon the significance of something that our liturgy exhorts us to do today.

As you may already have noticed, in our readings and prayers today, there is a significant emphasis on the act of seeing. The first reading begins with the words, see my servant... And it continues by saying that even kings shall see something never told and witness something never heard before. In the gospel, after he has had Jesus flogged, Pontius Pilate presents him to the people with the words, here is the man! In the Latin translation, the words are ecce homo! Behold the man! Look at him! A little later in our liturgy, as we unveil and venerate the cross, we will be chanting these words: Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. See! Behold! Look! Pay attention! This is what our liturgy is encouraging us to do today. But what exactly are we supposed to be looking at?

On the surface, it seems that Jesus dies a failure. Even a sinner. And he dies so painfully. So shamefully. An executed criminal. Is this all that we are being asked to look at? If not, then what else? The first reading provides us with an answer by posing to us this question: to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed? The power of the Lord, sisters and brothers. This is what we are being asked to look at today. The power of the Lord. Which is the power of love. A love that leads Jesus, the eternal only-begotten Son of God, to allow himself to be tormented and tortured. Convicted falsely and cruelly crucified. All for love of us. Of you and of me. Today, sisters and brothers, our liturgy tells us not to turn away. Not to be distracted. But to pay close attention. To see more deeply. To behold, hanging on the wood of the cross, Jesus our supreme high priest, who was tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. To look at him, remembering that ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried.

And why, sisters and brothers, should we focus our eyes on this painful sight, if not because, we too wish to experience something of this power? Something of the power of the Lord. Something of the power of love. A power that brings liberty to captives, healing to the afflicted, joy and hope to the depressed and despairing. A power that can move us to forgive those we may have long resented. To reach out to those we may be guilty of neglecting. To share Jesus with those who have yet to meet him. Who have yet to experience the power of his love.

Sisters and brothers:
The power of love is a curious thing.
Make a one man weep, make another man sing.
Change a hawk to a little white dove.
More than a feeling that's the power of love.

As we continue to gaze upon our crucified Lord, how might we allow this power to transform us today?

1 comment:

  1. As I recalled, not too long ago, I was sitting on the fence,
    thinking that the grass should be greener on the other side of the lake.
    But, just as I was about to cross the threshold, He used His words
    to touch me.. unveiling the truth to me.

    Nevertheless, I believe that The Lord has reserved something for me.
    I took time to quieten myself, reflect and pray on Psalm 37:4 - Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    I started to sing to Him,
    "Lord I come to You
    Let my heart be changed, renewed
    Flowing from the grace
    That I found in You."

    "And Lord I've come to know
    The weaknesses I see in me
    Will be stripped away
    By the power of Your love."

    It is true... as I started to see the Truth, and the things that He unveiled it to me, I began to the downside of certain things. A heart full of contrition, sorrow, and yearning for The Lord's love overwhelmed me. I beseeched him to:

    "Hold me close
    Let Your love surround me
    Bring me near
    Draw me to Your side.
    And as I wait
    I'll rise up like the eagle
    And I will soar with You
    Your Spirit leads me on
    In the power of Your love."

    I pray that all of us, will continue to let Our Lord's light shine deeply into our hearts, especially to those who desires His healing to open up and surrender totally to Him. Let us sing and give praise to Him like the responsorial psalm of today mentioned:

    Let your face shine on your servant.
    Save me in your love.
    Be strong, let your heart take courage,
    all who hope in the Lord.



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