Good Friday Sermon

Authored By: Fr. John Trigilio

GOOD FRIDAY SERMON

Throughout secular America, today is merely April First, April Fools' Day. While Christians everywhere around the world honor today as Good Friday, the day remains for many nothing more than an event of the past or as a day to play pranks on one's friends. Ironically, the first Christian martyrs were considered FOOLS by the pagan Romans who persecuted them. In fact, the very Crucifixion itself has been considered a foolish act, i.e., to die for the sins of all mankind knowing that man would never stop sinning is a crazy act of a fool.

So, in a sense, Good Friday is Fool's Day. You and I as Catholic Christians are indeed FOOLS for Christ. "We are FOOLS for Christ's sake," (I Cor. 4:10) The Cross was seen as a scandal to the Jews and as folly to the Greeks, Saint Paul tells us in his epistle (I Cor. 1:23). For a Divine Person to leave Heaven, come to Earth, take on a human nature, relinquish His majestic splendor and power to become a man, for the Creator to become subject to His creatures, and most of all to willingly die for their sins which are in reality a rejection of His Divine Dominion in their lives and a rejection of His Will, is considered FOOLISH in the eyes of the world. The Romans and Jewish leaders thought Jesus a Fool to ask people to "love their enemies," to "turn the other cheek," and to "forgive those who wrong you." Throughout history, the followers of Christ have been labled fools, from the martyrs who preferred death to denouncing their faith to the defenders of the right to life of the unborn.

Catholic Christians, especially, have been called fools for our belief in the Real Presence of the Body & Blood of Christ in the Eucharist; for our obedience to the Pope as the Vicar of Christ; for our filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. To follow Someone Who asked us to "take up our cross" daily, seems foolish. But in the words of the late, great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, to be a Fool for Christ is the greatest compliment the world can give.

The fact that many Catholic homes no longer have a crucifix shows how foolish some people consider the Cross. That many Catholics laugh at those of us who still come to Mass every Sunday and obey all the teachings of the Church, may make us to appear as fools. SO BE IT! "Divine Folly is wiser than the wisdom of man," (I Cor. 1:25), as the Apostle tells us. Today, on April Fools' Day, we celebrate Good Friday, the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Christ, seen as foolishness and folly to the men & women of the world. The paradox of the Cross is this. The doctrine of the Cross is foolishness to those on their way to ruin, but to those of us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the cleverness of the clever." ... God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. As God in His [Divine] Wisdom ordained, the world failed to find Him by its own [human] wisdom, and He chose to save those who have faith by the folly of the Gospel. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim CHRIST crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.

You and I are in good company. The Saints before us were all FOOLS for Christ and they practiced "Holy Folly" throughout their lives. Most of all, they embraced the Cross of Christ and were considered FOOLS for doing so. If the world sees the Sacrifice of the Cross as folly, then to follow the One Who was Crucified must also be a FOOL. That God would love us despite our disobedience is foolish to the world. That He would send His only Son to die for our sins is even more foolish. Look at the Cross. In the words of Pilate, "Behold the Man." There before us today is a Man humiliated, tortured and murdered because He spoke the TRUTH.

People will believe and follow politicians who promise them the world. Christ Crucified teaches the Truth and gives Salvation and many refuse to accept Him or His Holy Church. Stupidity lies in our resolve to follow our own wills rather than the Will of God. Absurdity lies in our own personal sins we commit AFTER all that Jesus suffered for us so that we could become holy despite our wounded nature. The world sees the Cross, Christianity and Catholcism as foolish. It rejects the Moral Law, the sanctity of human life from the womb to the tomb, the efficacy of the Sacraments and the necessity of the Church. Those who believe in reincarnation or who deny that there is any life after death are not FOOLS, they are pathetic idiots. They have eyes but cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear.

The TRUTH of the Cross, the Truth of Good Friday & the Crucifixion is that without the Cross there is NO crown. Without Good Friday there can be NO Easter Sunday. If the world considers Jesus Christ and His Crucifixion folly and if it sees our FAITH as FOOLISH, then we have nothing to fear for our destiny and our final home is NOT this world but the other world of Heaven, where all the Fools of God spend eternity before the Majesty of God, Who in His folly created, REDEEMED and sanctified us. The so-called wisdom of man laughed at the Wright brothers when they began their journey into the air. Who laughs now that more Americans travel by plane each year than by bus or train? The world ignores Christ and His Church. It will certainly laugh at us. Yet, the world will not and CAN NOT save us from our sins, ONLY the Cross of Christ. "Take up your Cross and follow Me," says the Lord. Better to be taken as a fool and enter Heaven than to be tought wise and suffer for eternity. The choice is ours and has always been. Lift high the Cross! Kiss the Crucifix of Christ and embrace it with LOVE!

humbly submitted by Father John P. Trigilio

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