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Bishop Vincent on Good Friday: “God’s irrepressible response to sin is love”

12 April 2018
Bishop Vincent OFM Conv on Good Friday at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

On Good Friday, 30 March 2018 the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was commemorated at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, led worshippers at the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.

St Patrick’s Cathedral was silent as Bishop Vincent processed into the Cathedral. Before the bare altar, Bishop Vincent recalling his priestly ordination, lay prostrate, in the act of proskynesis. The Vatican describes this action of the priest as:

He prostrates himself on the ground: It is the “proskynesis,” as in the day of ordination. Thus he expresses the conviction of being nothing before the Divine Majesty, and repentance for having dared to measure himself, through sin, with the Omnipotent. As the Son who abased himself, the priest recognizes his nothingness, and so begins his priestly mediation between God and the people, which culminates in the solemn universal prayer.

(After this) the exposition and adoration of the Holy Cross takes place: The priest goes to the altar with the deacons and there, standing, receives it and uncovers it in three successive moments, or shows it already uncovered, and invites each of the faithful to adoration with the words: ‘Behold at the wood of the Cross’. In its bare solemnity, here, in the heart of the liturgical year, tradition has endured tenaciously more than at other moments of the year. The priest, after depositing the chasuble, if possible barefoot, is the first to approach the cross, kneels before it and kisses it. Catholic theology does not hesitate to give to the word “adoration” its true meaning. The true Cross – bathed with the blood of the Redeemer – makes itself, so to speak, one with Christ, and receives adoration. Because of this, prostrating ourselves before the sacred wood, we say to the Lord: “We adore you, Oh Christ, and we bless you, because by thy Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”

In his homily, Bishop Vincent said, “Today, we come to celebrate God’s love that finds its noblest expression in the self-giving of Jesus on the cross…it was an act of total self-giving; it was a love that gave itself away. God, in Christ, suffered every fury of the human heart and loved still. God’s irrepressible response to sin is love. To make it personal, God’s response to my sin and yours is to love us, not in a way that leaves us in our sin but by calling us away from it.”

“Jesus Christ returned perfect love for every hatred heaped upon him. Jesus becomes the seed of a new humanity, founded on a new law of love, people who succeed, not by their own power, but by power of the love of God.”

Before Communion was distributed, the parishioners were invited to venerate the wooden cross in the Cathedral.

READ: Bishop Vincent’s homily

VIEW: Images from Good Friday below or click here

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