Mass is a celebration of renewal and forgiveness. I have enjoyed daily mass frequently during the past few weeks of Lent. In fact, the more often I attend the celebration at mass, the more I want to go again because I feel closer to God.
Today is the only day of the year when mass is not celebrated, yet we call today Good Friday or more formally, Good Friday of the Passion of our Lord. This day is particularly solemn because we remember the crucifixion of our Lord and that it is a reminder of our collective sins.
The Gospel reading today is John, chapters 18 and 19. If you attend a Good Friday liturgy today, you will hear the Passion read as a dialogue with different people reading different parts. You can also listen to today’s reading here The Passion of the Lord.
I was struck by the palpable them of fear in the description in the Gospel of John. For example, as Jesus foretold at the Last Supper, Peter denied Jesus three times (John 18:15-18, John 18:25-27):
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
I think Peter and the other disciples were absolutely afraid. They were afraid of being killed. Pentecost had not yet happened. The Holy Spirit had not yet come and (as accounted in the Acts of the Apostles) they were not filled with it.
Similarly, Pilate was afraid :
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid,
Of course the Pharisees were also afraid and Caiaphas (the high priest that year) and “It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people (John 18:14).
Everyone was afraid. Should we be afraid too?
The good in Good Friday is that Jesus willingly entered into his Passion to suffer for our sins and overcome them in his Resurrection. Only through him can we receive salvation from ourselves. Like every mass, today is a more detailed reminder that we are called to lose our lives each day: (Luke 9:23-25):
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”
I pray today that we can remember that we do not have to fear letting go of our sins. Through his grace, we can follow the example of Jesus and willingly face our own Passion.
We can feel joy, peace and hope.
Enjoy these related posts from cinhosa:
Enjoy these related articles:
- The History of the Stations of the Cross (cantuar.blogspot.com)
- The Passion of the Lord (tvaraj2inspirations.wordpress.com)