Tag Archives: Good Friday

Good Friday

Christ of Saint John of the Cross - Salvador DalìI know a priest who tells me that Good Friday is a day for us who to gaze upon the crucifixion as an attraction to self-consummation. Moreover, it is a day of panic at the threat of annihilation. The Cross of Jesus is a most power reality. It is not a decoration.
“Now it is Holy Week. On Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter, in these four days if you go inside without simply looking Christ in the face, but rather preoccupied about your sins or about perfection or about things to meditate on, you come out tired and pick up where you left off. Looking Christ in the face, instead, you change. But to change, you must truly look Him in the face, with the desire for good, the desire for truth:  ‘I am capable of all things, Lord, if I am with you who are my strength.’ It is a You that dominates, not things to respect.”

(Fr. Giussani Is It Possible to Live This Way? Vol 2, Hope)




The Crucified Savior of Humanity

Eric Gill Crucifixion 1915.jpg

Eric Gill, Crucifixion and host 1915.

In that crucified Man, … the Son of God, even death itself takes on new meaning and purpose: it is redeemed

the Cross of Christ.jpg

Once more in meditation, prayer and song, we have recalled Jesus’s journey along the way of the cross: a journey seemingly hopeless, yet one that changed human life and history, and opened the way to “new heavens and a new earth” (cf. Rev 21:1).  Especially today, Good Friday, the Church commemorates with deep spiritual union the death of the Son of God on the cross; in his cross she sees the tree of life, which blossoms in new hope.

The experience of suffering and of the cross touches all mankind; it touches the family too.  How often does the journey become wearisome and difficult!  Misunderstandings, conflicts, worry for the future of our children, sickness and problems of every kind.  These days too, the situation of many families is made worse by the threat of unemployment and other negative effects of the economic crisis.  The Way of the Cross which we have spiritually retraced this evening invites all of us, and families in particular, to contemplate Christ crucified in order to have the force to overcome difficulties.  The cross of Christ is the supreme sign of God’s love for every man and woman, the superabundant response to every person’s need for love.  At times of trouble, when our families have to face pain and adversity, let us look to Christ’s cross.  There we can find the courage and strength to press on; there we can repeat with firm hope the words of Saint Paul: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:35, 37).

In times of trial and tribulation, we are not alone; the family is not alone.  Jesus is present with his love, he sustains them by his grace and grants the strength needed to carry on, to make sacrifices and to overcome every obstacle.  And it is to this love of Christ that we must turn when human turmoil and difficulties threaten the unity of our lives and our families.  The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn, the passover of all those who believe in his word.

In that crucified Man who is the Son of God, even death itself takes on new meaning and purpose: it is redeemed and overcome, it becomes a passage to new life.  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24).  Let us entrust ourselves to the Mother of Christ.  May Mary, who accompanied her Son along his way of sorrows, who stood beneath the cross at the hour of his death, and who inspired the Church at its birth to live in God’s presence, lead our hearts and the hearts of every family through the vast mysterium passionis towards the mysterium paschale, towards that light which breaks forth from Christ’s resurrection and reveals the definitive victory of love, joy and life over evil, suffering and death.  Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI

Address following the Via Crucis

Good Friday

6 April 2012

Christ crucified transforms the old man, a new creation: is our gaze on Him?

The Church is silent. The Lord is dead; His mother and the Beloved disciple have buried the Lord. We carry on in sorrow, our hearts are quiet and searching for the one who made the promise that things would be different if we believed in Him. Holy Saturday is a distinct day in the Church. Good Friday totally transforms us from something old to something new, this is a time of patient awareness that it is not business as usual. If it is, if we can’t see that our real lives are not the same, then we need to beg the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother to show the reasons why life is different now with Jesus crucified and in the tomb. 

Pope Benedict’s meditation at the Colosseum lst evening gives us focus:

Via Crucis Colosseum April 22 2011.jpg

This evening, in faith, we have accompanied Jesus as he takes the final steps of his earthly journey, the most painful steps, the steps that lead to Calvary. We have heard the cries of the crowd, the words of condemnation, the insults of the soldiers, the lamentation of the Virgin Mary and of the women. Now we are immersed in the silence of this night, in the silence of the cross, the silence of death. It is a silence pregnant with the burden of pain borne by a man rejected, oppressed, downtrodden, the burden of sin which mars his face, the burden of evil. Tonight we have re-lived, deep within our hearts, the drama of Jesus, weighed down by pain, by evil, by human sin.

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Fr Cantalamessa: Good Friday – there is one truth…

Cantalamessa.jpgThe papal preacher preaches to the Pope each Good Friday. A distinction not given to many. The renown Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said many good things to think about, not a few points that are crucial to our own witness of the Gospel, a few are given here now. The link to his homily is given below.

There is a truth that must be proclaimed loud and
clear on Good Friday. The One whom we contemplate on the cross is God “in
person.” Yes, he is also the man Jesus of Nazareth, but that man is one person
with the Son of the Eternal Father. As long as the fundamental dogma of the
Christian faith is not recognized and taken seriously — the first dogma
defined at Nicea
, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is himself God, of
one substance with the Father — human suffering will remain unanswered.

response of the cross is not for us Christians alone, but for everyone, because
the Son of God died for all. There is in the mystery of redemption an objective
and a subjective aspect. There is the fact in itself, and then awareness of the
fact and our faith-response to it. The first extends beyond the second. “The
Holy Spirit,” says a text of Vatican II, “offers to all the possibility of
being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.”

One thing
distinguishes genuine accounts of martyrdom from legendary ones composed later,
after the end of the persecutions. In the former, there is almost no trace of
polemics against the persecutors; all attention is concentrated on the heroism
of the martyrs, not on the perversity of the judges and executioners. St.
Cyprian even ordered his followers to give twenty-five gold coins to the
executioner who beheaded him. These are the disciples of the one who died
saying: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” Truly, “Jesus’
 blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel
(Hebrews 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment; it brings

Read the papal preacher’s homily in full here: Fr Cantalamessa Good Friday homily 2011.pdf

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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