Good Friday Message

crucifixion_tintoretto.jpg (151470 bytes)

Crucifixion - by Tintoretto - from Scuola di San Rocco, Venice

 

breighnr.jpg (6294 bytes)

Jesus' Good Friday Message

by Father Joe Breighner

angelbar.gif (3645 bytes)

On the night of Good Friday, as His lifeless body lay in the tomb, what would Jesus want to say to us? If His Spirit could speak to us from that place of burial, what would He want to say to us down through the ages? I imagine that Jesus would say the following:

lamentation3.jpg (39742 bytes)

The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel -
by CANO, Alonso -
from Museo del Prado, Madrid
 

"I went through all of that because you are worth it. You are worth living for. You are worth dying for. In your darkest nights, in your deepest depression, remember that God thought you were worth His life. You are loved that much. You matter that much. ‘Greater love no one has than to lay down his life for a friend.’

"I did not die so that you could live in guilt and self-recrimination. I died to set you free from guilt and sin. I am not honored by your shame. I am honored by you using your life to make life better for others. I did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it. I am glorified by your creating something beautiful with your life.

"I went through all of that pain and degradation – the beating, the spitting, the taunting, the nailing, the stabbing, the ridicule and rejection – to model to you how to handle the misfortunes of life. There will be people who willcrown.gif (115337 bytes) hurt you in life. There will be people who enjoy your pain. There will be people in your life who will betray you as Judas betrayed Me.

"Yet, while some people let Me down, some surprising people stepped forward. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, people who had formerly come to Me only secretly or by night, now came out into the light. Therefore, do not let the unfairness and injustices in your life turn you bitter or cynical. There will be angels on your path as well. There will be a Simon of Cyrene to help you to carry your Cross. There will be friends, like the beloved disciple and the women, who stayed with Me all the way to the Cross.

"So endure your Cross bravely. When others nail you with false accusations, when people misjudge you, when your goodness is rewarded with meanness, do not focus on life’s harshness, but focus on your God. You will not be abandoned. And as I arose above the cruelty, so will you.

"So, let go of your anger and bitterness, and hold onto your God. And I will take you off your Cross. I will call you out of your grave. I will take you from Time to Eternity, to be in the presence of God forever. I have promised it, and I keep My promises."

 

Story

As I wrote those words of Jesus, I recalled another person going through another kind of crucifixion. A woman was dying of AIDS.

"I’ve ruined my life," she said to a priest. "I’ve ruined the lives of those around me. I’ve embarrassed my family. Now I’m going to die and go to Hell."

The priest noticed a picture of a young woman on her bedside table. "Who is that?" he asked. Her eyes lighted up, and she replied, "That’s my daughter. She’s the one thing I did right in my life. She’s the one part of my life that’s good."

The priest then asked the dying woman, "If your daughter made a mistake, if she did something you wish she had not done, would you reject her? Would you condemn her?"

The woman replied, "Oh, no. I love my daughter. I’d do anything for her. I would never reject her."

The priest responded, "Well, God has a picture of you just like that on His bedside table!"

 

Meditations on the Triduum

by Father John Corapi