Today is the one day of the year when there is no Mass celebrated. The commemoration of Good Friday is the most solemn day of the year. The readings for the Good Friday liturgy are so moving. In the first reading from Isaiah 52, we see prophesied that which Jesus would endure on this day. “But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.” How can you read this reading and not tear up?
Also at the Good Friday liturgy, we read the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. And we remember. We remember how He was mocked, beaten, spat upon and lifted high on a cross. For us. It is easy for us some 2000 years later to kind of sanitize what happened that day. But we mustn’t. This is one reason why my family watches The Passion of the Christ each year on Good Friday. It gives us a graphic reminder of what Jesus really endured for us. For me. For you.
Whatever you do today, take some time to remember. Whenever I lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we walk the Via Dolorosa and sing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” It may seem like a silly question 2000 years later. But the answer to the question is yes. You were there. I was there. We all were there. Because as Jesus hung on that cross, breathing His last, you were on his mind.
Father, help us to always remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Let it always remind us that our sacrifices are nothing compared to His. Amen.