Good Friday (April 22)

Liturgy of the Word

Liturgy of the Word:

1st Reading: In the first reading, God affirms the work of the Servant who healed a wayward people by his own suffering.

2nd Reading: In the second reading, we hear that Jesus, the Son of God and our high priest, learned obedience from his suffering. His complete self-giving in death made him perfect and brought him into the glory of heaven.

Gospel: In the Gospel, John presents the suffering, death and burial of Jesus in a unique way, portraying that Jesus is in full control of all that happens on his road to glory.

Reflection on the Readings: Discipleship requires living the paradox of the cross. If we look at the cross in light of its historical setting we see impotence and defeat. For, in the minds of first century Jews and gentiles alike, crucifixion meant only one thing: utter, total, complete failure. To be crucified was to be rejected by God and humankind in utter defeat. And yet you and I are here today to celebrate the victory of the cross and the power of Christ crucified. How can this be?

Reflection on the Veneration of the Cross and Communion: As we now prepare to come forward and to show reverence to the cross, to this symbol of our victory in Jesus, let us recommit ourselves to living the meaning of that cross. Let us recommit ourselves to being willing to lay down our lives for one another and to love our enemies and those who hate us. If that seems nearly impossible, Jesus will give himself to us in the Eucharist shortly thereafter as we come up for Communion. For it is in the Lord whom we receive that we will find the strength to live the paradoxical meaning of the cross.

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