Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 19, 2019: Good Friday C

April 19, 2019: Good Friday C

On this evening of Good Friday, an evening veiled in silence and solemnity, we commemorate the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and death. As I processed into this church in silence and prostrated in front of the altar, and you all knelt in an act of worship of the crucified Christ who gave his life for our salvation. We heard a moving prophecy about Jesus from the Prophet Isaiah: “Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured...he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole…We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.” Humanity’s guilt in crucifying Our Lord brings all of us to shame, yet we also marvel at God’s unfathomable mercy for all his children. 

As we behold the suffering of Jesus on the Cross, we recall how Blessed Mother followed Jesus closely in sorrow and prayer along the Way of the Cross. She was at the place of crucifixion ahead of everyone else, consoling Jesus. She looked for the disciples of Jesus, those he called to follow him. Only John arrived at Calvary to witness the completion of Jesus’ mission. John had first run away like the others, but he overcame his weakness and made his way back to Blessed Mother through the Via Dolorosa. Standing with Blessed Mother, John found love, strength, and peace that sustained his own faith. From the Cross, Jesus entrusted John to his mother and then his own mother to John. They heard Jesus say from the Cross, “I thirst.” That cry was the cry of God who thirsted to love us and to receive our love.

When we look around our world,  there are many who reject Jesus. There have been times we have strayed like sheep in our own weakness. We have a savior, yet many do not trust Him. Perfect love casts out fear.  Through Jesus’ Passion and Crucifixion--an act of perfect love--the fears and doubts we feel about God’s love for us are cast out. When our hearts get weary from sufferings of this world, we need to imitate Blessed Mother and John and look to the Cross and see the love poured out by Our Lord. “Behold, behold, the wood of the Cross. On which in hung our salvation. O come, let us adore.”