For Us…

Good Friday
April 7, 2023

Today’s Readings:

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray the most painful story of our faith. 

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, 
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, 
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, 
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”

John 19:16-18

As we watch Infinite Goodness broken on the altar of evil, our own sufferings and those of all the world pour out before us. Because it was for our suffering that Christ died, not only for that of his own time.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
    our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
    as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
    crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
    by his stripes we were healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5

Haven’t you asked yourself the question at least once, “Why did it have to be like this? Couldn’t our Redemption have been accomplished without this agony?

It is a question we carry with us throughout our lives as the profound contradiction of suffering challenges and often confounds us. Our faith is tested in pain’s relentless onslaught. Our souls struggle to understand what suffering is trying to tell us about God!

Jesus himself knew that struggle as we see so clearly in the Gethsemane story.

Good Friday is a day to sit quietly with that question, and to finally release it into the Mystery of God. We can never reach an answer or solution. We were not meant to.

We can only trust. That trust will allow suffering to transform us. And though we cannot find a solution, we can, like Jesus in the Garden, reach a place of sacred abandonment to God. From there, our true salvation can begin.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh, 
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears 
to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:7-9

Poetry: What If I Fall? by Erin Hanson

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?

Music: Take, Lord, Receive: the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola – John Foley, SJ

Take, Lord, receive.
all my liberty.
My memory, understanding, my entire will!
Give me only your LOVE, and your Grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me!
Take Lord, receive,
All I have and posses.
You have given unto me,
Now I return it.
Give me only your love, and your grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace,
are enough for me!
Take Lord receive,
all is yours now.
Dispose of it,
wholey according to your will.
Give me only your love, and your grace,
that’s enough for me!
Your love and your grace,
are enough for me!

3 thoughts on “For Us…

  1. Mary Sandusky

    Thanks for that beautiful and meaningful reflection. Yes that question has often been in my mind Christ’s suffering and all suffering in the world. But I like your answer.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s