Good Friday Reflection
The whole of Jesus’ life is directed towards this supreme moment. He has barely managed, gasping and exhausted, to get to the top of that hillock called ‘the place of skulls’. The executioners stretch him out on the ground and begin nailing him to the wood. They place the nails first into his palms, piercing his torn flesh. Then He is hoisted up until He hangs straight from the vertical shaft of wood which has been fixed into the ground. The feet are then nailed. Mary, His Mother, contemplates the scene.
The Lord is firmly nailed to the cross. He has waited for this for many years, and this day He is to fulfill His desire to redeem all men. What until now has been an instrument of infamy and dishonor, has been converted into the tree of life and the stairway of glory. A deep joyful Him as He extends His arms on the cross, for al those sinners who will approach Him will now know that He will welcome them with open arms.
He saw – and this filled him with joy – how the cross was to be loved and to be adored, because He was going to die on it. He reflected on the many occasions we would kiss the crucifix; on our beginning again so often.
Everything He suffered was the price of our ransom. He was not content to suffer a little; He wished to drink the chalice to the dregs without leaving a single drop behind, so that we might learn the greatness of His love and the baseness of sin, so that we may be generous in self-giving, in mortification and in the service of others. He wanted to suffer all this for you and for me.
The fruits of the Cross were not long in coming. One of the thieves, acknowledging his sins, turns to Jesus: Lord, remember me when you are in your Kingdom. He speaks to Him with the confidence of a companion in anguish. He would certainly have previously heard of Christ, of His life and of His miracles. But now He has met up with Jesus, just when it seems that His divinity is most obscurely hidden. And he has seen Jesus’ behavior since they began their march up to Calvary: His silence is impressive, as is His compassionate gaze at the faces He encounters on the way.
Our Lord is moved when, amidst all the insults, He hears that voice which recognizes Him as God. After so much suffering they would have filled His heart with joy. I assure you, He replies, this day you will be with me in Paradise.
The efficacy of the Passion is limitless. It has filled the world with peace, with grace, with forgiveness, with happiness in souls, with salvation. The Redemption which Christ carried out just once, is applied to each person who freely accepts it. Each one of us can truly say: The Son of God loved me and gave Himself up for me. No, not for all of us, but for me, as if I were the only one.
Very close to Jesus is His Mother, with the other holy women. There too is John, the youngest of the Apostles. When Jesus saw His Mother and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His Mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your Mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
Jesus, after giving Himself in the Last Supper, now wishes to give us what He loves most on earth, the most precious thing that sill remains to Him. They have stripped Him of everything else. And He gives Mary to us to be our Mother.
We ought always to have immediate resort to that endlessly burning light in our lives, which is the Blessed Mother. And more so, if, on occasion, we have left Christ and found ourselves lost, having abandoned sacrifice and the Cross, as did the Apostles. She will bring hope back to us. Our Lady is rest for those who work, consolation for those who weep, medicine for the sick, a harbor for those assailed by tempests, pardon for sinners and sweet relief for the sad. Beside her we are able to live the immense joy of the Resurrection.
P.S. You are enough.
Photo credit | Elissa Voss Photography
Reflection taken from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez