Good Friday: God walks with us

April 7, 2023

Today’s story of the Passion describes Jesus as “knowing everything that was going to happen to him.” Sometimes, we receive insights and premonitions about the future as well.  Is it better to know or not?

Christian spirituality over the centuries suggests that we put everything into God’s heart and hands, and we trust; hoping for the very best with God’s help and protection.

Jesus had a special vocation in life, clarified by his own personal experience with His Father and his Jewish faith tradition.

In one sense, our destiny and ultimate destination is no different.  

Our own dying and death is a calvary experience.  As we reflect today on this Good Friday about Jesus and his death, I invite all of us here this afternoon to reflect and get in touch with our own calvary.

There are different kinds of calvaries.  There are long ones and short ones.  There are high profile ones and hardly noticeable ones.  There are long calvaries and intermittent ones.  There are some that are physical; others that are psychological and others very emotional.

Perhaps, Calvary is more a state of mind and soul where our human dreams and hopes meet God’s dreams and hopes for us.  God wishes to walk with us in our calvaries, like he did in Jesus’.  Our calvaries humanize us, help us to identify with others, invite us to accompany one another as we live our lives.  Tragedies and selfishness remind us that we are very human, and we do predict our lives.

Good Friday is a very special day enveloped in mystery, in silence, and in eternity.  Everything that we make important will have its end, and everything calls us to repurpose our lives.  That is what the resurrection is all about, God’s opportunity to re-purpose our lives into a personal blessing for each one of us, to become a people of resurrection, of life, for others. 

In Good Friday, we begin to understand the purpose of our life – to endow life with every fiber of our being, with every ounce of our energy, with every drop of our own blood.

The cross is more than a static moment of history.  Rather, we remind ourselves today of the purpose of everything that we do not like about life and the deepest selfish and detached parts of our lives.  God is inviting us today to pull our lives together.  We are not the victims of life.  We are the protagonists of life, who promote life and justice, equality and fairness, love, and purpose and generosity.

Jesus was a realist who lived a real and full life and, he was the first who proudly walked through the doors of the fear of what is to come, to show us the beautiful plan that God has always had for each one of us.

Today, we thank God for this life and for all its blessings, and we thank God for opening up our hearts and minds to an active, life-giving way to live life.  We are more than ego and things and getting “high” on this life.

From the cross today, Jesus offers us a future that does not end, an eternal friendship which we do not understand fully, to grow into our best selves, to live fully here and one day, to find our eternal place in a new life, about which we can dream only.

I would encourage all of us today, to remember that today is Good Friday.  What happened today has changed the direction and the possibility for our lives.  We are more than Judas; we are more than our desire for thirty pieces of silver.  We are more than Peter’s “me” trying to find “his place in life.”

Jesus asked his disciples to watch life –, to stay awake in life, to be responsive and to be generous, rather than to close our eyes and fall asleep throughout our lives. 

Watch and pray, Jesus said.

Where are our wounds?  They are more than holes in our flesh; today we touch the wounds of our heart because life and our relationships are not perfect.  Where and how do we grieve?

We remember today that Jesus picked up the cross, fell under the weight of the cross, and let someone else help him to carry the cross.

Today, Jesus calls us to co-responsibility, to action, to receive emotional and spiritual strength, to help each other carry our crosses until our last Easter comes.

Jesus summons us once again today.  What he did is overwhelming and what he will do for us at the end of our lives will be even more overwhelming!

Christ has died.  Christ is Risen, Christ will come again!

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