Cantalamessa.jpgThe papal preacher preaches to the Pope each Good Friday. A distinction not given to many. The renown Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said many good things to think about, not a few points that are crucial to our own witness of the Gospel, a few are given here now. The link to his homily is given below.

There is a truth that must be proclaimed loud and
clear on Good Friday. The One whom we contemplate on the cross is God “in
person.” Yes, he is also the man Jesus of Nazareth, but that man is one person
with the Son of the Eternal Father. As long as the fundamental dogma of the
Christian faith is not recognized and taken seriously — the first dogma
defined at Nicea
, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is himself God, of
one substance with the Father — human suffering will remain unanswered.

response of the cross is not for us Christians alone, but for everyone, because
the Son of God died for all. There is in the mystery of redemption an objective
and a subjective aspect. There is the fact in itself, and then awareness of the
fact and our faith-response to it. The first extends beyond the second. “The
Holy Spirit,” says a text of Vatican II, “offers to all the possibility of
being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.”

One thing
distinguishes genuine accounts of martyrdom from legendary ones composed later,
after the end of the persecutions. In the former, there is almost no trace of
polemics against the persecutors; all attention is concentrated on the heroism
of the martyrs, not on the perversity of the judges and executioners. St.
Cyprian even ordered his followers to give twenty-five gold coins to the
executioner who beheaded him. These are the disciples of the one who died
saying: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” Truly, “Jesus’
 blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel
(Hebrews 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment; it brings

Read the papal preacher’s homily in full here: Fr Cantalamessa Good Friday homily 2011.pdf