Jesus is raised up on the cross as a vehicle for his descent into the darkness of death. The cross, being the weapon of humiliation and shame is transformed into a sign of salvation. Jesus, clearly mirroring the old Covenant becomes the Paschal Lamb for all generations. Now there is no need for other sacrifices; Jesus, the Lamb of God creates a new Covenant.

Today, we venerate the Cross. On Sunday we will celebrate the Resurrection. Those initial disciples did not have the certainty that we have; even though they saw Jesus in the flesh and heard him preach first hand. On that first Good Friday, they must have been horrified at what happened to their beloved teacher, and we know that some of them scattered. But we also know, that in a few short days they would see him again; risen from the dead.

This time of year, gives us the opportunity to think about what Jesus did for us. The liturgy is so rich in detail; the story of how Jesus was tried, beaten and executed is etched firmly on our minds. We have all probably watched film versions of the life and death of Jesus, but I would guess that very few of these films comes remotely close to what Our Lord went through for us.

Last night we had the chance to stay with the Lord, watching and waiting for this day to come. Today we have the opportunity to recall the events of that first Good Friday and tomorrow at the Vigil we can be present as the darkness formed on Good Friday is illuminated by the Easter fire, and the Easter Candle burns; lighting up the area around where the Word of God is read. But today is a time to ponder; to think about the sacrifice Jesus made for us and to marvel that if we were the only person in the world, Jesus would still have died to save us and that applies to everyone. If that isn’t a great reason to reflect and be thankful, I’m not sure what is.

Further Reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Friday of the Passion of the Lord

CCC 602-618, 1992: the Passion of Christ
CCC 612, 2606, 2741: the prayer of Jesus
CCC 467, 540, 1137: Christ the High Priest
CCC 2825: Christ’s obedience and ours

Please keep in your prayers this week

  • Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
  • All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
  • Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Those discerning a vocation and those considering coming into the Catholic Church.
  • The innocent people caught up in wars and conflicts around the world, but especially those in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, Russia, Syria and Iraq.
  • Those preparing for Sacraments this Easter.
  • For all travelling at this time; may they remain safe and return refreshed.
  • That all of our school children and staff have a good break and that they remain safe.

Deacon Tony Darroch 29th March 2024.