Good Friday homily
Walking the Via Dolorosa
Father Labib Kobti
April 13, 2001

You did not walk with me. No, you did not. It was a long way, a hard one, a dark one, a very humiliating one, a very suffering one.
Everybody was screaming at me, everybody was laughing at me. Some soldiers were hitting me, and some others were saying hit him more, more.
I felt very alone during the long way of the cross from Pilate Palace to the Golgotha.

During this long way of Via Dolorosa. I though of Pilate.
Pilate was looking at me with ptiy but with great superiority. "Do you not know that I have the power to release you and I have power to crucify you". Jn. 19:10  Pilate reminds me of many of you who have authority and you do not know how to use it. "You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above" Jn.19: 11. This people have the trust of God, they have been given power to do good and serve justice, peace, truth, human lives and defend what is right and just. Instead they use power for their own interest and all what they do is to keep their positions and please those who will pay them more and better.

I thought of the High Priest who delivered me to Pilate.
Those people who were seating at the Chair of Moses, had all the power to interpret the law and the prophets. It was given to them to lead the people of the ways of God and interpret the will of God to their believers: a will of love, goodness, of sharing, cooperating, of making from the world a paradise at the service of human rights.
Instead they used the word of God to abuse God and the people of God. They have their own plans. They want to kill all goodness that do not come in their name. All my miracles, all my words of love, all my works, the work of God on earth were a thread to them. Any word of love. a sincere smile, a friendly advise, a shake of hand and a will to volunteer, everything is a thread to their religion. They cannot stand love, goodness, they want their own way to see God, their way to make religion, their cult, their sect, and ready to kill anybody who do not speak their language. On the name of this kind of religions war were made, divsions persisit and continue between the same people in the name of God and the word of God, and God is innocent. What an ugly face of religion.

On my way to the Golgotha, I thought of you.
Again you were not walking with me, for me; you were walking beside me, looking at me, laughing at me. I, who came and healed your sick people and rise your dead. I, who showed you the real way of God and proved to you through my example how to live the word of God. Instead you wanted only to listen to those who proved to you in the past and the present time what is not really God, and what God's religion is not.

This is why I should continue my walk to Golgotha, and I am always walking to Golgotha on every road, every city, every country where God is not the real master of the human life. I am always walking alone in the hearts who do not know what all about the Real God, who is love, truth, veracity, justice, honesty, integrity, faithfulness, peace, authenticity, devotion, service, sacrifice, humility, forgiveness ...

You see why I want to go to Golgotha and die for you? This is my only option to change you, to save you, to love you.

So come to me you modern Pilates, high priests, Herods, soldiers, people and do to me what ever you want:

(Some of these following ideas, I took them from Martin Luther King speech and changed them to speak for this occasion of Good Friday)

I shall match you capacity to inflict suffering on me by my capacity to endure suffering and love you. I shall meet your physical force against me and others with my force of love.
Do to me what you will, and I will shall continue to love you. Throw me in jail, and I shall still love you. Give me the heaviest cross you may give to an enemy and I will carry it with great honor and love for you. Stone me, nail me on the cross, hang me and I will still love you. Laugh at me, I will never laugh at you. Swear against me, shake your heads and I will never respond the same way you to you. I will only love you.
But be assured, yes, be assured that I will wear you down by my capacity to suffer. Because I love you. And one day, you shall win your freedom, and the freedom of the whole world, and I shall appeal to your heart and conscience that I shall win you, all of you in the process, and our Victory, our Resurrection will be a double victory and resurrection. The RESURRECTION of the whole world to build a better place where you can feel yourself in Paradise. Where everybody is equal, loving, caring, humble, good, honest.

Until then I need to walk to the Golgotha and I need to die for you, for the Love of you.
Will you help me like Simon the Cyrenian and caary the cross with me.
Will you help me to build a paradise for you. I just want you to be happy on the earth that I brought you in.
Will you help me to make you happy and make others feel happy with you.

Look at me every time you touch the cross that you wear around your neck or when see it on a wall any wall and remember me walking the via Dolorosa, looking for you a new person, changed by my love and suffering for you.