Thursday, April 13, 2017
GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
April 14, 2017 - GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
[Day of Fast (ages 18- 59) and Abstinence (age 14 and up)]
No Mass, Red
Is 52:13- 53:12 / Heb 4:14 -16: 5: 7-9 / Jn 18:1-19: 42
GOSPEL READING: Jn 18: 1 - 19: 42
The Passion of Our Lord according to John.
The liturgy of Good Friday is made up of three parts: the Liturgy of the Word at which the Passion of Christ according to St. John is proclaimed and which ends with the Solemn Intercessions, the Adoration of the Holy Cross and Holy Communion.
The focus of this reflection is the Adoration of the Holy Cross.
The ritual begins as the veiled Cross is carried into the church. As the covering on the Cross is uncovered in three steps, the priest intones, "Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world." As they kneel, the congregation responds, "Come, let us adore."
The Holy Cross is then venerated by all, each one approaching the Cross with an appropriate sign of respect. Finally, the Cross is "enthroned" at the main altar.
Why is the Cross such an important symbol? The Cross itself is an ambiguous symbol. St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians speaks of how the Cross is a scandal and foolishness for unbelievers (1 Cor 1: 1- 23).
In the Roman world of the day the cross was an instrument of torture and death, the penalty for the most ignominious of crimes. But on this day called "Good" Friday, we venerate the cross! What is it that makes an instrument of death for criminals something to venerate and adore? What is it that makes the Cross of Christ so special? What can help us to appreciate the goodness of the Cross on Good Friday?
Let us turn to the reflections handed down to us by the beloved Disciple. At the Last Supper it was he who reclined next to the Lord. It was he alone of all the chosen disciples who, at the end, together with Mary, stood beneath the Cross as Jesus handed over the Spirit with his last breath. His writings can speak to us to reveal the secret of the Cross.
We turn to John's Gospel where Jesus said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, and so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him, the world is to be saved." (Jn 3: 14- 17)
Yes, God so loved the world! And the love of God for the world, for all of us, was and is what has often been poetically called "the greatest love the world has ever known." We have the words of Jesus himself at the Last Supper, "There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.... This is my command, that you love one another." (Jn 15: 13 - 14, 17)
The Cross is nothing other than the love of God. The Cross that we venerate is not a symbol of death but rather a symbol of life-giving love, of divine love! St. Paul, writing to the Romans about sixty years after Christ's death, declared, "But see how God manifested his love for us: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5: 8) Yes, because of God's love for us and our world, we can see how the Cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life!
What remains for us is the challenge the Lord handed on to us, "Now I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (Jn 13: 34- 35)
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
JULLIANA BEATRICE TAN
IN MEMORIAM (†)
SULPICIA Q. SOLANA
Have a good day!
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