Good Friday

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

A New Way of Life
The Common Doctor, as Saint Thomas Aquinas is know, tells us much about the death of Christ. He sought especially to penetrate what was foretold by the prophet Isaiah: "But he was pierced for our offenses,/ crushed for our sins,/ Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,/ by his stripes we were healed" (Is 53:5). Aquinas prayed. He pondered. He prayed again. And then he asked: How can the crucifixion of one Man atop a mountain that was reserved for the execution of criminals both forgive sins and make eternal lovers of those who embrace his cross? The essence of his reply is simple. Aquinas recalls that the one who dies outside the walls of Jerusalem is the Son of God, and that in his humanity Christ exhibited before God the maximum charity and the most perfect obedience. This reply only restates what Christians have believed from the start, what we have held since that moment when Christ, lifted high on a cross - a holy cross - cried out, "It is finished." One Good Friday, we venerate the cross of Christ with a kiss. This is the Church's way of inviting us to embrace his love and obedience. She invites us to enter into the mystery that begins when from Christ's wounded side flows blood and water, the fountain of sacramental life in the Church.

Reflection based on John 18:1-19:42
Father Romanus Cessario, O.P.

Eternal Father, the death of your Son on a cross redeems the
world. Make me a loving and obedient disciple of that same
Son, Jesus Christ who is our exalted Lord.

Today's suggested penance: Make the Stations of the Cross.  (click here for the Stations)