Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Good Friday 19 April 2019
First Reading: Isaiah 52: 13-53: 12
Second Reading: Hebrews 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9
Gospel: John 18: 1-19: 42
The Cross is the principal symbol of Christianity and this is so because it reminds the world of the sacrificial love of Christ which he expressed to humankind through his passion and death. “As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ” says St. Paul. 
In addition, the Apostle says, “the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for those who are being saved it is God’s power”. 
Trials are an inevitable path towards the attainment of salvation and victory. Jesus emphasized this fact clearly to his followers when he says, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross and follow me”.
The cross brings to memory the sacrificial love of the one who hangs there. It is a clear proof of his love, that he laid down his life for us, and challenges us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. The early Fathers of the Church interpret the four cardinal points of the cross as symbols of the love of Christ. According to them, the vertical points signify the height and depth of his love, the horizontal points expressing the width and breadth of that love. Their interpretation is closely connected to Paul’s words that prayed for the Ephesians to have the strength to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of his love.
It is within this context that we can understand why the tree of death has turned into a life-giving tree. In the very beginning, a tree brought about the fall of Adam, but in the new dispensation, a tree has brought about the glory of the new Adam, namely Christ. 
This is so because by his Cross he has redeemed the world. It speaks eloquently about the temporal victory of evil over what is good. 
Good Friday is a day to pause and think of the meaning of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is also a time to reflect on how his wounds bring healing to many and how his death offers salvation to everyone. The cross then becomes a symbol of hope.