Good Friday 2023 Preaching by Sister Corinne Sanders, OP Good Friday - April 7, 2023 John 18:1 - 19:42 In my home, like many of you, I have a crucifix. My daily practice is to pause by the cross/crucifix offering a thought, or a prayer, sometimes seeking a blessing from an ancestor. At times, I might gently touch the cross for strength and courage for whatever may lie ahead that day. I would guess that in some way each of your crosses provide some special meaning and significance as well. Today we come as a community of believers to continue in our celebration of the Triduum and on this day to behold the cross. We are called to dwell fully in this holy mystery, centered in the One who lived fully in and into the love of God and who was silenced by those whose power was threatened by this man’s love. On this day of crucifixion, with open hearts, open eyes, and open ears, we behold the cross. We behold Jesus crucified and we hear the cries of mothers throughout the world and across the ages who have lost their children to suffering, violence, poverty, rejection and hatred. We behold the crucified Jesus. The Jesus who in John’s gospel embraces his full being, proclaiming “I AM” and staying true to his course — living with integrity, challenging oppression, and extending love and healing to all, knowing full well it would end in his death. We behold this crucified Jesus and remember those who are persecuted and killed for the sake of justice, fully aware of the cost of their discipleship. We embrace our own discipleship on this day as we stand at the foot of the cross. We lean into the cross to receive courage as we live out our discipleship, embracing one another in our own losses and suffering, committed to confronting together systems of domination and exploitation in whatever ways we are able. In the cross, we are held and strengthened in God’s love. From the cross we receive Jesus’ Spirit. And so today we reverence the cross. We embrace it as a sign of faith and love. We reach out to it, seeking strength and courage for whatever may lie ahead in these days.