Good Friday ~ 2021 – Bible Readings: I: Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Responsorial: Psalm 31; II: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5;7-9; Gospel: John 18:1 – 19:42

Good Friday, the most solemn and sorrowful day in the Christian year. There are no celebrations. For Catholics it is a day of fasting. Mass is not said, only Holy Communion will be shared. It is a day to be quiet, to still the tumult of our world and minds. It is a time to listen..for..and to God. It is no accident or seeming penance that the liturgy remembering our Lord’s Passion is so full with God’s Word. It is a time to listen, to think, prayerfully of all God has done for us.

Jesus faced the cruel mockery of a trial. He who came because He loves us found…hate. He who came to free us from self and sin found bondage, beatings, and humiliation.

Good Friday was a day of crushing disappointments. The followers and friends of Jesus had been convinced He was the Messiah, the Christ. They believed He would deliver them from the hated Romans. And we, much as His earlier followers, often believe He will deliver us from our disappointments and failures, of the world, in the Church, each other, ourselves. But the disappointment is so deep. Jesus died. And so, it seemed did their hopes, their faith. As we carry our disappointments, our failures (real or assumed) we must remember Mary, with her dead Son, and His friends carrying Jesus to the tomb.

But..they did not realize as they carried the broken Body of Jesus they carried holy love spilled out for us all. They did not yet realize that He who was crucified came not to free them from the hated Romans but to free them for the holy power of forgiveness and His love. And as we carry our disappointments, wounded lives we share the same holy path of the Cross, with The Crucified. This sorrowful day of disappointment is day of appointment to better know Jesus and the mercy-filled embrace of His Crucified Love.

St. Francis in Adoration of the Cross

We adore you O Christ and we bless you. For by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.