25 March 2016
GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
No Mass. Red.
Is 52:13 - 53:12 / Heb 4:14 –16; 5:7-9 / Jn 18:1-19:42
From the 1st Reading: Is 53:3 – 6, 10 - 11
He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrow familiar with grief, a man from whom people hide their face, spurned and considered of no account. Yet ours were the sorrow he bore, ours were the sufferings he endured, although we considered him as one punished by God, stricken and brought low.
Destroyed because of our sins, he was crushed for our wickedness. Through his punishment we are made whole; by his wounds we are healed. Like sheep we had all gone astray, each following his own way; but Yahweh laid upon him all our guilt. . . .
Yet it was the will of Yahweh to crush him with grief. When he makes himself an offering for sin, he will have a long life and see his descendants. Through him the will of Yahweh is done. For the anguish he suffered, he will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge. My just servant will justify the multitude; he will bear and take away their guilt.
Gospel Reading: Jn 18:1– 19: 42
The Passion of the Lord according to John.
With that, Jesus knew all was now finished and he said, I am thirsty, to fulfill what was written in Scripture. A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to his lips. Jesus took the wine and said, "It is accomplished." Then Jesus bowed his head and gave up the spirit. (Jn 19: 29 – 30)
On this day we cannot escape the image of the Cross. For some it is what St. Paul calls a scandal, a stumbling block. For others it is a reminder of a terrible death, the unjust conviction of an innocent man, Yes, there is darkness on this day, a certain emptiness that the Church acknowledges by not celebrating Mass and by having an empty tabernacle on this day.
The liturgical service is rather a service commemorating the passion and death of Jesus on the Cross. After hearing the Gospel account of Christ's passion and death, we are invited to venerate the Cross on which Christ died.
What is the goodness of this day which explains why we call it "Good Friday"? The goodness of the Cross is in the saving power of God's love. By God's power what may seem to many to be a sign of death is actually a sign of life! The dying of Jesus on the Cross is a dying which is life-giving. Jesus himself used the image of the grain of wheat that must fall to the earth and "die" so that it can give new life. The dying of Jesus on the Cross is the dying of life-giving love.
It is indeed a sign of the greatest love that can be known. At the Last Supper, the night before he died, Jesus told his disciples that there is no greater love than the love that lays down one's life for friends.
The Cross which we venerate at today's liturgy is the saving Cross of God's love for us.
Approaching the Cross for veneration, we hear the proclamation, "Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the salvation of the world," and we respond, "Come, let us adore." We then venerate the Cross thanking God for the love that gives life. This Friday is made "good" by the goodness of Christ's love.
Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter Sunday as a day of rejoicing, as a day of triumph and hope
St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests that we "imagine Christ our Lord present before us upon the cross, and begin to speak to him, asking him how it is though He is the Creator, He has stooped to become man, and to pass from eternal life to death here in time, that this He might die for our sins" and that "I shall also reflect upon myself and ask: 'What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?" (Spiritual Exercises, "Colloquy, First Exercise in the First Week")
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Samaeta Emei Joson
Br. Lwanga Ssekie SJ
Sharlyn Rose Go Kaw
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Stewart (1961 – 1993) & Frances Valerie Liao (1963 – 1993)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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