Gospel Reflection for Good Friday April 2nd 2021 By Br Michael Moore OMI
Gospel Reflection for 2nd April – Good Friday
The opening prayer from Holy Thursday tells us that ‘we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and resurrection; though him we are saved and made free.’ This is the central message of not only these three sacred days, but of Christianity itself. Perhaps this is why today is called ‘good.’ It is through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that we are saved and made free.’
On Holy Thursday we shared a meal with Jesus, during which he took the place of a slave, bent low and washed our feet. While praying in the garden for strength he was betrayed. Peter, his closest friend denied even knowing him in order to protect himself. Today he will be judged, condemned and crucified. Where am I today as all this happens? Perhaps I am watching and waiting from a safe distance as Jesus is taken away.
In so many ways, each of us has suffered this last year; some more than others. Many have died because of Covid 19. Families are now living with loss and bereavement because a family member or friend has died. Many more are still in hospital seriously ill and many have lost their jobs. Today of all days is the time to remember those who are suffering most because of the virus. This Good Friday is also a time to pray with and for each other and all those who are suffering innocently in our world today, whether it is politically, socially or economically – or in so many other ways.
These recent times may have tested our faith and hope. We may have recently cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me.’ Can we find some comfort, even a little in knowing that this is what Jesus cried out when he was crucified? He knows what we are going though. Jesus stands by our side and is with us as we stand with him today. We have not been and we are not on our own. As Jesus joins his suffering with ours, he invites us to make our suffering part of his. We are not asked to struggle or suffer on our own As Jesus took the cross upon his shoulders for our sake, so too today he offers to walk by our side and help us shoulder the burden of our suffering – whatever that is. He has not abandoned or deserted us; for he is our salvation, our life and resurrection; though him we are saved and made free.’
We are asked to stand at the cross with Mary and the other women today, but we are not asked to stay at the cross. We are not on our own. Mary and the other women who followed and loved Jesus stayed and stood at the cross. Today in communion with Christians all over we stand in silent prayer at the cross; we are not alone today. This is but a step on the journey; it is not the end. We can’t stand at the tomb on Easter morning with Mary Magdalene unless we first stand with her at the cross today.
I once saw a poster of the crucifixion. On first seeing it I was not really impressed with it. Then on closer inspection, I saw at bottom of the poster these words; ‘To be continued….’
We pray that today we will have the courage to stand at the cross, so that soon we can stand at the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene and meet the risen Lord.
If we bear in our body the death of Jesus, it is with the hope that the life of Jesus, too, may be seen in our body. (2 Cor. 4.10)
– Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel||John 18:1-19:42 ©|
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ
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