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
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