Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples are you?“
He said, “I am not.”
Day Thirty Nine of Lent: Friday of the Passion of the Lord – Good Friday
“Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, ‘You are not one of this man’s disciples are you?’ He said, ‘I am not'” -John 18:17.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Jesus went out with His disciples […to] a garden […]. Judas His betrayer also knew the place […]. The band of soldiers […] seized Jesus. […] Pilate said to Him, “Then You are a king?” Jesus answered, “[…] I came into the world, to testify to the Truth. Everyone who belongs to the Truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” […] And [Pilate] said to them, “Behold, the man!” When the chief priests and the guards saw Him they cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” […]
So they took Jesus and, carrying the Cross Himself, He went out to what is called […] Golgotha. There they crucified Him. […] Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved. He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” […]
Jesus said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He handed over the Spirit. […] The Gospel of the Lord.
“By giving up His own Son for our sins, God manifests that His plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: ‘In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins’ (1 Jn 4:10; 4:19). God ‘shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’ (Rom 5:8)” -CCC 604.
Why do you suppose we call today, this Friday, “Good”? At first thought, it seems strange to call a day when an innocent man underwent a shameful execution “good.” Still, Christians throughout the world honor this day when Christ was put to death – and they do so as a term of reverence. The French speak of Holy Friday, whereas the Germans, Lament Friday. So what do we find holy, lamentable, and good about the Friday of the Passion of the Lord?
Christ’s death on the Cross qualifies as holy because He is all-holy. Though Christ as God cannot die, the Son of God in His human nature can suffer and die. By His death, Jesus is able to make those who believe in Him, those who have faith in and work with His sanctifying grace, holy as well. Moreover, Good Friday is called good because this day shows that Christ’s death on the Cross brought mankind many good (wonderful!) things. It is especially good (and hope-filled) for the human race to see victory over the grave and deliverance from the bondage of sin. Without the Cross, where would one look for eternal hope and healing from sin’s harmfulness? No other alternative would work – never has, never will. Only Jesus.
To say also that Christ died on Lament Friday expresses the recognition that a sinful human race caused the Passion. Christ not only liberated us from the enslavement of sin, He paid the full price for the world’s sin. We call this satisfaction. Christ made abundant satisfaction for a lamentable human race. Those who understand and appreciate this unfathomable gift end up thanking the Lord ceaselessly.
Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son into the world for our salvation. Give us the grace of perseverance so that we may be eternally freed from the bonds of sin and death. Make us rejoice in this gift of redemption, Lord; may we never lose sight of this precious Truth. It is in Your good and holy Name we pray. Amen.
Today’s Suggested Penance
Make the Stations of the Cross.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to [one day] see what you believe” -Saint Augustine.