A Reflection on Good Friday

As we gaze upon the crucified Christ, contemplating His Passion, can we truly comprehend the magnitude of what He suffered for our sake? The scourging that shredded His flesh, the vicious thorns that pressed into His head, the crushing weight of the cross (all the sins of mankind…our sins) on His back, the pain inflicted by the nails driven into His hands and feet, the lingering agony endured for three hours on the cross until the debt was fully paid, thereby freeing us from the dire consequences of sin. In contemplating our Lord’s Passion, it is impossible not to be grieved by the sufferings Jesus endured to save us from our sins. “…what can we say of the wonderful love God must have for sinful man to cause Him to give His Son to endure such a death to save him!”1 We cannot help but be moved to a greater sorrow for our sins and pray for the grace to steadfastly avoid the near occasion of sin.

As our eyes move toward the foot of the cross, our gaze takes in Christ’s sorrowful mother, Mary, the Blessed Virgin, who followed her Divine Son on the road to Calvary. She encourages us to take our place beside her, to bear our own trials and crosses in life and offer up our sufferings, thereby making reparation for our sins. For when we unite our sufferings to His, we become more like Him, more Christ-like.

Unlike most in today’s world, who see suffering as fearful and futile, and as such, something to shy away from, those who accept Jesus’ invitation to “deny himself, and take up his cross” and follow Him, understand that there is real salvific value in suffering because by His Passion, Jesus infused suffering with redeeming value. On this Good Friday, during this Year of Mercy, as we contemplate Jesus’ Passion and the unfathomable love that burns in His most Sacred Heart for each one of us, the words He spoke to Blessed Dina Belanger are meant for us, too: “I understand human frailty.  I forgive readily, I forget indelicacies as soon as the soul returns to Me, but that does not prevent My Heart from feeling the wound.”2 May God grant us the grace to avoid further wounding that most loving of Hearts.

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1Reflctions on the Passion, Fr. Doyle, October 12, 1956

2Reflctions on the Passion, Fr. Doyle, October 12, 1956 – Blessed Dina Belanger (Mother Marie Ste-Cecile de Rome)