KOTA KINABALU: Crowds thronged the Good Friday service at the St Simon Catholic Church Likas, here, recently to commemorate the Passion of the Lord.
In his address to the congregation, parish rector Fr Cosmas Lee said, “On Good Friday, when we remember and take part in the suffering and death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, it’s not right to talk too much”.
Instead, he encouraged the faithful to reflect and meditate in quiet on these words of Jesus, “if anyone who wishes to be a follower of mine, let him take up his cross every day and follow Me”.
“We’re here today not just to admire Jesus, not just to thank Him – we’re here, first and foremost, to embrace the cross – more exactly – to embrace Jesus hanging on the cross.
“To crucify someone is not simply to kill that someone. The victim must not just die, he must die shamefully, naked, raised up on the cross, on a hill – Jesus was put on the cross purposely, nakedly, for all to see.
“To carry the cross of Jesus, to embrace the cross of Jesus, is also to share with Him, to be stuck up in shame for the world to see. Because like Jesus we must be true, true to the truth – truth of love, honesty, forgiveness, sacrifice.
“Jesus would not have been raised in shame for the whole world to see if the leaders and people were not against Him. They were against Him.
Fr Cosmas said it seems the world is getting more and more against Christians.
“People are cynical. We have reached a stage in our history that the righteous ones are persecuted – deliberately sticking us up on the hill that the world may see,” he said.
“This Good Friday, when we come to take part in the suffering and death of the Lord, to embrace the cross, it means we must be true to what we believe.
“We know the truth set Jesus free. He rose from the dead. Let us be proud of the cross. Let’s meditate on Him who was put to shame, but was faithful to the end.
“Let us be better disciples of Jesus this year,” Fr Cosmas said, concluding his sermon with a heartfelt exhortation to the faithful.