Father George Homily Inspirational

It is Finished

Good Friday

29 March 2024

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19)

Today is Good Friday, a day filled with paradox and mystery. This is a day that prepares us for the events to come in the next several hours. Jesus dies on the cross – in truth Jesus was lynched by the religious authorities using the Roman overlords as the means for the desired ends.

It’s about three in the afternoon, or the ninth hour (fifteen hundred for those of us familiar with military time). Jesus has entrusted his mother into the care of his beloved disciple, an act which points to his compassion and attention to the needs of others even as he is dying from one of the most inhumane methods of execution (all methods of execution are inhumane, but that’s the subject of another sermon).

It is the end, everything has been accomplished; and so, Jesus, calls out that he is thirsty (a common occurrence for victims of crucifixion). He is offered a sponge full of wine, he drinks from it and utters the most profound words in all of the Gospels: “It is finished,” and he dies.

What does this mean for us some 2,000 years after the event? Perhaps …

  • It is finished. Salvation history is fulfilled.
  • It is finished. The work of redemption is completed.
  • It is finished. The longing of the ages – long envisioned by the Prophets and the sages is at hand.
  • It is finished. Now the promised gift of eternal life is offered to all humanity.
  • It is finished. The full expression of God’s love for the human race is manifest in the broken body of the Son.
  • It is finished. Now death is no longer to be feared or dreaded.
  • It is finished. The victory over everything that separates us from God’s unconditional love is accomplished.
  • It is finished. The gate of Paradise is open before us.
  • It is finished. The promise of resurrection is at hand.
  • It is finished. Easter is beginning.

The proclamation of Easter begins on the cross. Thus, the Good Friday liturgy is not a requiem but a celebration of the Paschal mystery. This Friday is “good” because of eternal life through Christ’s victory on the cross.

It is finished. Now we wait and keep watch.

Happy Good Friday.


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