Today we recall the good and holy day that brought God’s blessing to the world
Reflections on the readings for Good Friday (April 10, 2020): IS 52:13–53:12; PS 31:2,6,12-13,15-16,17,25; HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9; JN 18:1–19:42
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Today we celebrate the Passion of the Lord in a service unique to Good Friday.
We honor the sacrifice He made by exchanging His death on the cross for our eternal life in heaven. It is a profoundly solemn occasion when we are invited through the Scripture readings to follow along on Christ’s last journey. Once more we hear how He was arrested through the betrayal of Judas, questioned by the high priest and others determined to condemn Him, then handed over to the Roman governor to be tried and executed. Jesus was scourged and forced to carry His instrument of torture to the Place of the Skull. Hanging there immobile, with His hands and feet nailed to the cross, He suffered agony for three hours between two other condemned men. He heard the crowd mock Him and watched soldiers gamble for His clothes. He spoke to His mother and to John, the one Apostle who stayed with Him. Finally, Christ knew His time had come. “Aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.’… So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to His mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, He said, ‘It is finished.’ And bowing His head, He handed over the spirit” (John 19:28-30).
After intercessory prayers for a number of people with particular needs, today’s congregation venerates the cross. Only once a year do Catholics make this special adoration of our Savior. The crucifix that we too often take for granted through much of the year is displayed for us to offer our personal reverence as we meditate on the love of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – for ourselves and for all people. Contemplating so much pain and suffering, so much forgiveness and mercy is an essential part of this sad and somber day. But we know what those gathered at Calvary did not – that Sunday will be Easter and our Redeemer will rise up from the dead.
Suggested missionary action: As we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, let us think of those suffering today, especially in light of this pandemic. Let us support those who offer them, especially in the Church's missions, in the midst of their Good Friday, a glimpse of the hope of the Resurrection.