Today is Good Friday, let us accompany Christ in his Passion and Death on the Cross

Jasjot Singh

Today, April 15, the entire Catholic Church unites in a spirit of mourning and penance to commemorate the Passion and Death of the Lord.

The liturgy, in its richness, provides us with intense moments in which we can deepen the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice. All over the world the Way of the Cross is prayed, the Sermon of the Seven Words of the Lord Jesus on the Cross is heard and processions presided over by the image of the suffering Christ and his Sorrowful Mother are held.

On this day the Holy Eucharist or any other sacrament is not celebrated, with the exception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick (in case of need).

A day to put the heart in front of the Lord

The afternoon celebration commemorates the different moments of the Passion and Death of Christ through the Reading of the Word, the Adoration of the Cross and the Eucharistic Communion, consecrated on Holy Thursday. Today the faithful are also invited to accompany the Virgin Mary, who was at the foot of the Cross, with a prayer after the Adoration of the Cross. At night, the faithful meditate on the journey of Jesus Christ towards Calvary through the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross). Then, before the end of the day, in many places the Office of Darkness is celebrated in which the darkness into which the world fell when its Savior died is remembered. This celebration concludes with a sign of hope, which reminds us that Jesus will resurrect.

Through these forms of piety it is evident that the Church, as a good mother, provides the necessary means to get closer to God and better understand the mystery of his sacrificial love, which is infinite. Let us never forget that Christ did not keep anything for himself, that he gave everything for our salvation. We, the faithful, must respond by keeping silence -externally and internally- or by fostering a reflective spirit. We must join in the mourning for the death of Jesus Christ, as Fr. Donato Jiménez, OAR, recalled: “We must make the sentiments of the Church our own.” It contributes enormously to this purpose that we keep abstinence and fast.

Something that was broken will be united and renewed

Fr. Jimenez also recalls that on Good Friday “we celebrate the death of Jesus, who has died for each one of us and for all of humanity to reconcile us with the Father.” That is to say, we celebrate the extreme, divine love, capable of paying the most expensive ransom – the life of the Son – to save us. This has tremendous implications for our daily lives: Through Christ, the doors that had been closed by sin have been opened again, never again to be closed.

It is important, then, to internalize the fact that Jesus gave himself on the Cross for each one, in a personal way, for me, for you and not in a “massive” way. There is a need to understand that the Cross is a sign of victory: through the Cross “death dies”, because through it sin and its consequences die; my own death dies. It is about the greatest victory, no matter what the world tastes like failure.

If you want to know more about the Office of Darkness, you can consult the following link of the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Oficio_de_tinieblas

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