Good Friday 19th April 2019

Good Friday 19th April 2019

By the Rev Msgr Harry Entwistle
Ordinary

Good Friday 19th April 2019

St John’s gospel is a theological and spiritual reflection on the events that make up the life of Jesus, a man who was crucified in Jerusalem by the Roman Occupying Forces in the fourth decade AD. The ongoing question is whether this Jesus was simply a deluded madman, a misunderstood prophet of God, a teacher, another victim of injustice, or was he indeed God’s Messiah?

As a baby Jesus was presented to God in the Temple and described by Simeon as a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. Using the prophet Hosea’s imagery, he described himself as the bridegroom of God’s people who were his bride, united in a new covenant relationship sealed through his blood.

St John’s gospel tells the story of Jesus as a mission to create a marriage between heaven and earth; between God and his people; between the natural and the supernatural. He presents this marriage against the backdrop of a village wedding in Cana of Galilee which occurred on the third day of his ministry.

Jewish weddings reflect the Feast of Tabernacles which is a celebration of the union between God and his creation and between God and his chosen people. Before the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated, there must be rites of purification which include repentance and forgiveness. This is followed by the offering of the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) on which the High Priest kills two goats. He lays his hands on one goat transferring the pollution of the people’s sins from themselves onto the goat. This goat is now unclean and so is driven into the wilderness and forced over the edge a cliff to its death. This was the ‘scapegoat’ The second goat, which is a pure specimen, is sacrificed to God and its blood sprinkled in the Holy of Holies.

At every Jewish wedding there had to be purification and wine. No wine – no wedding. In Cana of Galilee the wine ran out, so Jesus turned the water of purification into the wine for the wedding.

The order of events for a wedding were – Repentance, forgiveness, sacrifice and celebration.

The gospels tell us that Jesus urged the people to repent and believe the good news. Those who did were healed, forgiven or restored to God’s people. Those who didn’t, made plans to destroy him.

At his crucifixion Jesus prayed for his persecutors, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Jesus’ death was not some bizarre public suicide. It was the sign of Jonah, the prophet whose story is read during the observance of Yom Kippur. The sign of Jonah was to voluntarily give up what is fair and just for oneself in order to extend God’s mercy to those who do not deserve it so that God’s Kingdom is grown.

When the High Priest offered the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement he wore an ephod, a seamless robe. At Jesus’ crucifixion the soldiers took ‘his tunic that was without seam, so they cast lots to see whose it shall be” (Jn 19:24). Jesus, son of Mary of the house of Aaron, God’s first high priest, offered himself as a sacrifice at the very time the High priest was slaughtering the Atonement sacrifices, in order to seal the marriage between God and those Jews and Gentiles who enter into this loving union.

But no wine, no marriage. “By the cross of Jesus stood a jar full of wine vinegar, so they put a sponge full of it on a hyssop and held it to his mouth” (Jn 19:29). Hyssop is a shrub whose twigs were used for sprinkling the water during the Jewish rites of Purification. The purification was complete and the wine of marriage was drunk.

“When Jesus had drunk the wine he said, “It is finished (completed)” (Jn 19:30). These are the very words which the High Priest utters when the final Atonement sacrificed has been offered. The marriage between heaven and earth had taken place. “And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost. (Jn 19:30).

This truly was the Son of God.­

Like all relationships, marriages have to be worked at and rough times must be worked through in love. Today is the marriage, and once again on the third day, there will be the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection in which we are invited to participate through renewing our baptismal promises and recommitting ourselves in love to God as disciples of Jesus, agents of the Agent of God.

 

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About Author

Monsignor Harry Entwistle

Monsignor Entwistle was the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Educated at St Chad's Theological College, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn in 1964. After reception into the Roman Catholic Church, he was ordained to the priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Perth on 15 June 2012.

Good Friday 19th April 2019

Good Friday 19th April 2019

By the Rev Msgr Harry Entwistle
Ordinary

Good Friday 19th April 2019

St John’s gospel is a theological and spiritual reflection on the events that make up the life of Jesus, a man who was crucified in Jerusalem by the Roman Occupying Forces in the fourth decade AD. The ongoing question is whether this Jesus was simply a deluded madman, a misunderstood prophet of God, a teacher, another victim of injustice, or was he indeed God’s Messiah?

As a baby Jesus was presented to God in the Temple and described by Simeon as a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. Using the prophet Hosea’s imagery, he described himself as the bridegroom of God’s people who were his bride, united in a new covenant relationship sealed through his blood.

St John’s gospel tells the story of Jesus as a mission to create a marriage between heaven and earth; between God and his people; between the natural and the supernatural. He presents this marriage against the backdrop of a village wedding in Cana of Galilee which occurred on the third day of his ministry.

Jewish weddings reflect the Feast of Tabernacles which is a celebration of the union between God and his creation and between God and his chosen people. Before the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated, there must be rites of purification which include repentance and forgiveness. This is followed by the offering of the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) on which the High Priest kills two goats. He lays his hands on one goat transferring the pollution of the people’s sins from themselves onto the goat. This goat is now unclean and so is driven into the wilderness and forced over the edge a cliff to its death. This was the ‘scapegoat’ The second goat, which is a pure specimen, is sacrificed to God and its blood sprinkled in the Holy of Holies.

At every Jewish wedding there had to be purification and wine. No wine – no wedding. In Cana of Galilee the wine ran out, so Jesus turned the water of purification into the wine for the wedding.

The order of events for a wedding were – Repentance, forgiveness, sacrifice and celebration.

The gospels tell us that Jesus urged the people to repent and believe the good news. Those who did were healed, forgiven or restored to God’s people. Those who didn’t, made plans to destroy him.

At his crucifixion Jesus prayed for his persecutors, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Jesus’ death was not some bizarre public suicide. It was the sign of Jonah, the prophet whose story is read during the observance of Yom Kippur. The sign of Jonah was to voluntarily give up what is fair and just for oneself in order to extend God’s mercy to those who do not deserve it so that God’s Kingdom is grown.

When the High Priest offered the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement he wore an ephod, a seamless robe. At Jesus’ crucifixion the soldiers took ‘his tunic that was without seam, so they cast lots to see whose it shall be” (Jn 19:24). Jesus, son of Mary of the house of Aaron, God’s first high priest, offered himself as a sacrifice at the very time the High priest was slaughtering the Atonement sacrifices, in order to seal the marriage between God and those Jews and Gentiles who enter into this loving union.

But no wine, no marriage. “By the cross of Jesus stood a jar full of wine vinegar, so they put a sponge full of it on a hyssop and held it to his mouth” (Jn 19:29). Hyssop is a shrub whose twigs were used for sprinkling the water during the Jewish rites of Purification. The purification was complete and the wine of marriage was drunk.

“When Jesus had drunk the wine he said, “It is finished (completed)” (Jn 19:30). These are the very words which the High Priest utters when the final Atonement sacrificed has been offered. The marriage between heaven and earth had taken place. “And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost. (Jn 19:30).

This truly was the Son of God.­

Like all relationships, marriages have to be worked at and rough times must be worked through in love. Today is the marriage, and once again on the third day, there will be the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection in which we are invited to participate through renewing our baptismal promises and recommitting ourselves in love to God as disciples of Jesus, agents of the Agent of God.

 

Sermons List

About Author