Today is a Good Friday! The day of our salvation. Jesus, our Christ, is crucified. His self-transcendent service of total love is accomplished. Jesus responds to the Father’s love, with his love, in obedience, in humility and meekness. We see all this in his Passion. Fulfilling his ministry as priest mediator between God and humanity, performing the supreme act of mediation when he dies on the cross to make God’s mercy available to all and bringing reconciliation to all the world.
Our focus today is to venerate Christ’s cross, to kiss the cross of our salvation. To recognize our need for salvation in ever deeper, and deeper ways and offer ourselves to God as we seek to imitate Christ’s self-transcendent offering in loving service.
The process is always the same, giving of ourselves. Dying to all of our sinfulness, our self-serving proclivities, our self- centeredness, and always being for others first.
We need Good Friday. We need the time to give everything again to God in Christ. We need the time to say yes again to our process of self-denial and to seek God with everything again.
Indeed, we have come to know deep down that over and over, I need to bring my sin, my weakness, all that I still cling to – right to Jesus who gave up everything for me. So that I may be reformed by his grace into his total giving life. To be like him. So, I embrace my cross, and I venerate his cross to bring me to this acknowledgment.
The prayer that inspired St. Ignatius of Loyola can inspire us on this Good Friday of 2021. Every Good Friday has its grace. Every Good Friday brings us into the saving act of Christ in some new way. As we present ourselves today to pray and to hear again the Good News that the Passion of Christ is for us. We seek to hold on to it, to learn from it, to have a new awareness of our need of God’s grace to live it.
So, we pray with St. Ignatius.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ inebriate me . Water from the side of Christ , wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. Do not let me be separated from you.
Perfect love is holiness. Christ invites us to share in his divine love, his divine soul –God’s own Spirit life – His love, the very soul of Christ. And indeed, if we love like Christ, we to come to understand our life in him. And today of all days, we behold his body, torn and offered for our sake, yes, his body is sacrificed for us and his body is the means, the sign of his love, Christ’s body saves us.
Christ’s blood envelops us. It does inebriates us, fills us and transforms us, truly converts us, Intoxicates us with new life – his life. Brings us to a joy that can fill the earth with his love.
Water washes over us. Cleanses us, brings us to a newness that envelopes us, a true baptism that transforms our being. So, we pray these words with new understanding of our baptismal life, “It is Christ’s life of total love we embrace anew. “ This is the sacramental waters that recreate the world.
Passion of Christ strengthen us right where we find our lives today. Just like Jesus in his passion, standing before Pilot, the overwhelming moment of the passion story – the key exchange with Pilot and Jesus, is the question – what is truth? Jesus is truth, Jesus embodies truth – the only truth that answers all the questions of life and death – all the questions we have struggled with in life, in our sleepless nights and intense days, Jesus brings us God’s very life and love. And He lives it out in his sacrificial offering of himself as he seals the bond of total love as the answer to all life and so Jesus becomes our savior. This is Jesus, for all the world standing silent, humble, a figure holding truth in every fiber of his being.
The image of Christ’s Passion must be our way of life: humble and meek, obedient, accepting suffering in saving silence. A prayerful, contemplative stance of offering, that saves us and the whole of creation. That’s the efficacy of our life and prayer. So, we submit wholeheartedly our will to God’s Will and seek to have our lives, that is, our passion be our offering to the Father. Which is: to put aside everything that does not lead us to Christ.
So, we pray with Ignatius, “O Good Jesus hear me.” We pray these words deep in our hearts. Begging Jesus to know we too want to love like him, we too want to be for others first. We too want to live for God alone and be strengthened in our resolve on this Good Friday, to live for Christ. To become Christ in the world. We do it by our perseverance in our life which is ordinary , obscure and laborious.
If we are willing to do so, then comes the moment of real surrender. “Within your wounds hide me,” Ignatius prays.
We have prayed for this grace all during Lent, as we have sung at our Vespers, the antiphon to Mary: We drink from the wellspring of our salvation, from the wounds of Christ.
So, our hearts plead : Let me bring all my tribulations, all my vulnerabilities to you and place them into your very wounds, those saving wounds, that have given me life, new life in You. Life with the Father. Let me put everything there, so to be I’m freed up – ready to take on whatever is required of me to follow you.
This is our prayer today as we venerate the Cross that is our salvation.