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Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekly Reflection

Good Friday 'B'

March 29, 2024

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

There were three crosses on Golgotha. On the right and on the left were two robbers being crucified for rebellion and murder. On the central cross, Jesus died for our sin. On one side of Jesus hung a criminal who taunted Jesus in disbelief; he died in sin. On the other side of Jesus, however, hung a criminal who believed in Jesus. He scolded the mocker and begged, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” He died to sin and, Jesus promised would be with him in Paradise that very day. On the central cross (with its mocking title, “Jesus the Nazarene king of the Jews,” in three languages) hung a sinless Sufferer! He was dying for the sins of the world. Hanging on that cross, Jesus spoke seven times during the closing moments of his earthly life. It has been an age-old practice in the Church to reflect on these last words of Jesus from the cross as an integral part of Good Friday observance so that we may repent of our sins and resolve to renew our lives and thus participate fully in the joy of Jesus' Resurrection.

What is the real message of the cross?

  • God's demonstration of His love for man, "For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."(Jn 3:16)
  • Ransom paid for our sins, giving suitable satisfaction for God's Justice by paying an Infinite price for the infinite offense done to God by our sins, "But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us"(Rom 5:8)
  • Divine lesson teaching the redemptive value of our pain and suffering, "I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you"(Jn 13:34).

Sin is a disobedience committed against the Infinite Holiness of God. It demands infinite punishment. No human being can pay adequate satisfaction for the injustice done. That is why God in His mercy allowed His Son Jesus to pay the price of our sins by a bloody sacrifice of His human life. "For our sake He made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor 5:21). 

Jesus brought us back to the state of God’s children from our slavery to sin by paying His life as ransom for our sins. That is why Jesus said, "For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45). Peter explains, "You know that you were ransomed... with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot" (1 Pt 1:18-19). Paul tells the Corinthians, "Do you not know that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price" (1 Cor 6:20).

We need to show gratitude to our Savior by avoiding sins and making reparation or atonement for our sins by acts of mercy, kindness, and love.

By willingly accepting the most terrible sufferings of torture and the excruciating suffering and humiliation of crucifixion, Jesus teaches us that our pain and suffering have a redemptive value as His suffering and death redeemed mankind from the bondage of sin.

Let us welcome the crosses of our life and offer them as atonement for our own sins and those of others, giving our pain and suffering redemptive value. Let us learn to welcome the pain involved in controlling our evil tendencies and practicing more self-control; the pain involved in sharing our blessings sacrificially with others; and the pain and humiliation involved in standing for Christ and His teachings and principles.

On this Good Friday let us show the good will and generosity to ask God’s forgiveness for our sins along with the Psalmist, “Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense. Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me. For I know my offense; my sin is always before me. Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight” (Ps 51:3-6).

Let us learn to love the cross of Christ, venerate it and draw daily inspiration from it for our Christian life, “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”