What Is Good And Holy About This Friday?
Rdgs: (1st: Is 52, 13- 53, 12; Ps: 30; 2nd: He 4, 4-16, 5-9: Gos: Jn 18, 1-19, 42)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today the church celebrates Good Friday. There are certain expressions that present lots of difficulties at times. This is especially, when they sound ironical. As I reflect on today’s celebration, I remembered one man. If you encounter this man in the morning and greet him “good morning sir!” The most probable answer one might get from him is: “What is good about this morning?”
Like this man, most of us have asked: “What is good and holy about this Friday? What is good about a day that someone was innocently condemned and crucified? A day when God was crucified, and a day when it appears that there is no hope. What is good about a day that everyone is expected to leave the church mournful and silent?
The first shot at this question is that, without this day perhaps, there would have been no salvation for humanity. This is because, had Christ not died, there would not have been the washing away of our sins (Jn 16, 3; Rom 5, 8). So, it is good because, it is a blessing in disguise.
It is actually on this day that the devil was put to shame, and the power of death was defeated. Hence, Paul asked: “death where is your victory, death where is your sting and power?” (I Cor 15, 55). According to the Catholic Catechism: “Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men” (CCC, 1992).
Secondly, it is on this day that the barriers preventing all the saints of the church from entering the holy of holies were torn apart (Mt 27, 51). Thirdly, it is on this day that the journey of salvation was actually instituted. In fact, some scholars consider this day more important than Easter Sunday. This is because, they feel that without this day, the Christ event of Easter Sunday would not have been possible.
The term Good Friday and the activities that surrounds it could be likened to one of the lines in the Exultet of Easter Vigil which describes the fall of Adam and Eve as: “a happy fall.” So, just as the fall of Adam and Eve helped in fulfilling the salvific plan of God, also the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday helped in fulfilling the salvific plan of God.
It is a day when the “drama script” written by God is fully “directed and acted out” by Christ his Son. On this day, there appeared to be the absence of God by human reckoning. However, God is fully present and is somewhere smiling because, his son has accomplished his mission for the salvation of humanity. Indeed, it is a Good and Holy Friday!
Peace be with you!