Gospel: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Read the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Reflection: Today is “Good” Friday. Question is always asked why this day is called “Good?” In John’s account of the Passion, nothing “good” happens to Jesus. In fact, all that happens to Jesus is very bad. It begins with Judas’ betrayal, one of his apostles, who walked with Jesus for 3 years, heard His preaching, saw His miracles, had his feet washed, and yet he betrayed him. After his arrest, Jesus is scourged, crowned with thorns, repeatedly struck and tortured. When he needs them the most, all of Jesus’ closest friends flee. Peter denies Jesus 3 times. Jesus carries his cross on the way to Calvary. He is mocked, spit upon, whipped. Jesus is stripped of his clothes. He is then crucified and he suffers for 3 hours and dies an agonizing and horrible death. So, how can this be called “good?”
At the beginning of John’s passion, we heard that “Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him.” Jesus knew what God called him to on this day. Jesus lived out his Father’s plan and did his father’s will through obedience, true humility and self-sacrificing love. Jesus placed all of his hope and trust in God his Father. This is “Good.” While on the cross, before he died, Jesus entrusted his mother to John and to us so Mary could be our mother. On this day, we see how Jesus completed his mission on earth. He showed us how to live, love unconditionally and serve others. This is “Good.” We learn that through the suffering of Jesus we receive the greatest of all blessings. We receive forgiveness for our sins and eternal life. This is “Good.”
Several years ago, there was a B.C. cartoon strip, by Johnny Hart. This strip is set in pre-historic times with cavemen and cavewomen as characters. Two cavemen are sitting on a rock. One says, “I hate the term “Good Friday.” The 2nd caveman asks “Why?” The 1st says, “My Lord was hanged on a tree that day.” The 2nd asks, “If you were going to be hanged on that day, and He volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?” The 1st replied, “Good.” The 2nd says, “Have a nice day” as he walks away.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The law he gave us was clear, life is a struggle. Unless there is a cross in our lives, there will never be an empty tomb; unless there is a crown of thorns, there will never be a halo of light. Unless there is a Good Friday, there will never be an Easter Sunday.”
When Jesus was crucified and as He hung on the cross, WE were on his mind.
Back to the original question, why do we call this day “good?” Today and everyday we can say, “Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.” And that is GOOD!
Action for the day: Even though it is not a “Holy Day” of obligation, attend a celebration of the Lord’s Passion at your church.