Good Friday - stepping away from Caesar and towards Christ
Ceremonies are taking place across the Diocese of Meath, marking the day of the Lord’s passion and death. In many parishes, the traditional hour at 3.00pm is observed with the Good Friday Liturgy, while Confessions, outdoor Stations of the Cross and moments of Taizé prayer take place throughout the day.
Speaking at the beginning of the Passion of the Lord in the Church of Sts Peter and Paul, Dunboyne Mgr Dermot Farrell VG said the following:
"The death of Jesus says something to me. We are asked to take up our cross everyday. Following the Crucified, following Jesus in our dying, is not limited to the close of our earth bound existence, to terminal cancer, the fatal heart attack. Dying in a spiritual sense begins when living begins. We share in Jesus’ dying by sharing in his cross through the whole of our lives. Not only physical pain – backache, hernia, sciatica - but the agonies that are rather psychological and spiritual: concretely the agonies that nail a priest to his cross today: celibacy, brokenness, criticism, crossfire, loneliness, ineffectiveness, burnout, fear, ageing.
"If as a disciple of Christ I obey his command and take up my cross each day, the final cross may strike me as not simply inevitable, but quite expectable. Today’s liturgy as memorial of the Passion is not a banal re-enactment of a tragedy, but a challenge to live a life that resembles that of Christ in its dedication to the Father and in its service of Christians.
"In this Liturgy in a few moments time, we will go in procession. A procession is a journey. We journey from where we are to where Christ is. We journey from where Peter is the courtyard of the High Priest—half in/half out—to where, as he is called in today’s Second Reading, the High Priest is. We journey to the Cross.
"As we move in mystery, we take a step away from the Empire of Caesar and towards the Rule of God. My sisters, my brothers, let us embrace the cross, let us embrace the way of God, so that some other morning, like Peter, an uninvited host, may cook fish for us at another charcoal fire.
"Come with me! Let us kiss the cross. Let us step away from Caesar and towards Christ. Let us pray for the world. Let us embrace all whom God loves."