The saddest day: A homily for Good Friday

Today, Good Friday, is the saddest day of the year. A man named Erich Fromm said that one cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often. Well, at least from time to time. Today we call good because Jesus was the most responsive a person can be to the needs of the world. Our God loved us and loved us to the end. It is sad that it had to come to that, but our Christ gives us a beautiful example: sadness should lead to responsiveness.

We are sad also because today is the devil’s day. The tabernacles of the world are empty, as he wants them to be. There can be no baptisms today, no new life. There can be no sacraments except penance and the sacrament of the sick in cases of emergency, and the devil loves this because he hates the sacraments. The crosses and statues are covered, just as he wants them. The adoration chapels around the world are empty and dark and closed, as the devil wants them. The normal happy conversation and fellowship that happen after we gather here in prayer, it should not happen today (for we disperse in silence), and the devil loves that lack of greetings and hugs and laughs that are the norm. Normally I take solace sometimes in knowing that, at any moment during the day, at least several hundred priests around the world are celebrating the mysteries. But not today. There is no Mass today. And that is what makes the devil the happiest.

Yes, today is the devil’s day. It is a sad, sad day. But the saddest day leads to the happiest day, and that is just around the corner. The devil does not have the final say. Tomorrow we will have the loudest and most glorious Masses around the world we can dream of. It will be time to feast, time to celebrate with pomp and circumstance, time to baptize the heck out of people. I can’t wait!

But wait we must, and we wait in silence and prayer and reflection. We give the devil his day. And we watch him lose.