We feel that we have been at the peak season of Lent. Palm Sunday has just passed us and now the mood of Holy week is here because the scriptural readings are coming nearer and nearer to Jesus’ passion and death. The liturgical readings help us to journey with Jesus, Mary, the Apostles and the other significant men and women who followed Jesus. We continue contemplating the sorrowful happenings of these days.
Today, Good Friday, brings intense feelings of sorrow, agony and pains as we are with Jesus who is walking on the path to His death. Let us allow ourselves to enter in as part of the scene, to be with Jesus, following Him, going towards Calvary – the place called The Skull – where He is to be executed with two criminals on either side of Him. Together with the other pilgrims we commemorate this day when He suffered, was crucified and died.
On this day we remember that God, who became man, humbled Himself as He lived and loved like us. Today, we recall the depth and manner of His suffering, and how He was put to death. It is a memorable day because He gave up His life to do the will of the Father for our salvation. All of His life – and His dying – was offered out of His love for us. In His sufferings He bore everything. He came face to face with a tremendously violent death without any word of complaint. In spite of all of this, to this day He teaches us to die with dignity in the midst of so much unlawful condemnation and disgusting situations.
We too, in our daily life’s experiences, bear our own cross that poses a great challenge to us on how to live in the midst of great difficulties and sufferings. When we carry our cross each day without acceptance it becomes heavier and heavier. Therefore, the challenge is to always look to Jesus because He teaches us how how to humbly carry that cross, including allowing himself to be helped by a passerby, Simon of Cyrene. Let us pause for a moment to identify the many personifications of Simon Cyrene in our life – those people who are there ready to help us in our times of trial.
Looking at the cross of Jesus will give us strength. Let us unite our own cross with His and be one with Him who bears the pains and sufferings that give us a deeper meaning of our living and loving. Jesus’ cross wins over death because His cross speaks of life and love – His love of humanity. The mystery of His cross will not put us down instead He raises us up in every down moment we have. Carrying the cross teaches us much about love, patience, humility and sacrifice. The cross becomes more meaningful to us. Never be afraid of the cross and never be in doubt of His love because Jesus is passionately in love with us – so much so that He went through all that great agony and humiliation and died for us! Let us go beyond the meaning of our daily crosses which we take up and follow Christ.
On this Holy Friday, Jesus invites us to be with Him in commemorating His last days of His life as a human being like us.