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Good Friday

April 2, 2010

Blessed Good Friday,

Today begins the novena of Divine Mercy.
For the prayers, see:

Lord, by shedding His Blood for us,
Your Son, Jesus Christ,
established the Paschal Mystery.
In Your goodness, make us holy
and watch over us always
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s service of the veneration of the Cross)

Isaiah 52:13- 53:12 (God laid our guilt upon Christ)
Psalm 31:1-25 “Father, I put my life in your hands”
Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 (Jesus, our high priest, knows our weakness and pleads for us)
+John 18:1-19:42 (the Passion)

“The Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

The guilt of us all,
from the beginning to the end of time,
from our smallest unkind thought to the most brutal genocide,
all descended upon His immaculate innocence.

He became “one of those from whom men hide their faces,
spurned, and we held Him in no esteem” (Isaiah 53:3).

Truly our High Priest knows our weakness. He bore it Himself (see Hebrews 4:15).

The crushing weight of that burden staggers the heart.

It broke His.

“One of the soldiers opened His side with a lance,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out” (John 19:34)

From this broken Heart, this opened side, He won His bride.

“The Evangelist has expressed himself cautiously;
not struck, or wounded, but opened His side:
whereby was opened the gate of life,
from whence flowed the sacraments of the Church,
without which we cannot enter into that life which is the true life:
That blood was shed for the remission of sins,
that water tempers the cup of salvation….
To shadow this forth,
the woman was made out of the side of the sleeping man [Genesis 2:21-23];
for this second Adam bowed His head, and slept on the cross,
that a spouse might be formed for Him
from that which flowed from the sleeper’s side.
-St. Augustine, “Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John”,
Tractate 120, 2

That’s what He died for.
“He gave Himself up for Her to make Her holy,
purifying Her in the bath of water by the power of the Word,
to present to Himself a glorious Church, holy and immaculate,
without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

This was the joy set before Him, for which He endured the cross,
heedless of its shame (see Hebrews 12:2).

We are His joy.

Today, let us humbly, reverently, confidently approach the throne of grace,
the cross of our crucified Spouse,
to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need (see Hebrews 4:16).

Yours in the bath of divine mercy,

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