“IT IS FINISHED(Jn 19:30).”
“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’…(Lk 23:44-46)”and said, “‘It is finished’. And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit (Jn 19:30).”
“Now it is all over. The work of our Redemption has been accomplished. We are now children of God, because Jesus has died for us and his death has ransomed us. ‘Empti enim estis pretio magno! (1 Cor 6:20), you and I have been bought at a great price.’
We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must die through mortification and penance, so that Christ may live in us through Love. And then follow in the footsteps of Christ, with a zeal to co-redeem all mankind. We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ and to become one and the same thing with him” (St. Josemaría, “The Way of the Cross,” Station XIV).
Dear friends, Our Lord loved us till the end. He even loves us in our fall, in our miseries and despite our sins, and does not leave us abandoned to ourselves. He loves us to the end with an intense love which impelled Him to the very end, to the extreme, coming down from his divine glory in order to die for us on the Cross.
LET CONTEMPLATE JESUS ON THE CROSS: From the Cross we contemplate Christ who loved us with a love which knows no limits, no bounds; with a love unafraid and willing to bear physical and moral pain, inhumane cruelty and suffering, and even death on the Cross, for the sake of the beloved ─for our sake─ for our salvation.
JESUS ON THE CROSS IS “THE SOURCE OF IMMORTAL LIFE, THE SCHOOL OF JUSTICE AND PEACE, THE UNIVERSAL PATRIMONY OF PARDON AND MERCY. IT IS PERMANENT PROOF OF AN OBLATIVE AND INFINITE LOVE that brought God to become man, vulnerable like us, even to dying crucified. His nailed arms are open to each human being and they invite us to draw near to him, certain that he accepts us and clasps us in an embrace of infinite tenderness (Benedict XVI, Address after the Via Crucis, March 21, 2008).”
We can never thank Our Lord enough for the Love He has shown us by humiliating Himself in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, during His Passion and by totally giving Himself on the Cross and in the Holy Eucharist…
But yes, we can thank Him ─not only with words nor with feelings─ but with deeds of daily self-abnegation and self-giving in the most ordinary events of our daily life, obediently fulfilling God’s Will as Jesus Christ had taught us with His Life with the end of pleasing God out of love.
But remember: LOVE AND SACRIFICE ARE INSEPARABLE AS SHOWN TO US PAR EXCELLENCE BY OUR LORD. If we really love Jesus, let us also be ready to renounce ourselves…allowing Him to occupy more space in our heart and in our life. If we really want to tread on the same footsteps our Lord treaded upon during his life on earth and follow him faithfully, WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO LIVE OUR LIFE NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR GOD, as what Jesus did during His entire life on earth. ONLY THROUGH THIS MANNER, FOLLOWING HIM CLOSELY, LIVING FOR HIM AND IN HIM, IDENTIFYING OURSELVES WITH HIM ─THROUGH HIS PASSION AND DEATH─, WE WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE GLORY OF HIS RESURRECTION…and thereby to ETERNAL HAPPINESS!
SEE AS WELL:
- THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/14/the-passion-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-the-agony-in-the-garden/
- THE JEWISH AND ROMAN TRIALS: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/15/the-passion-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-jesus-sufferings-during-the-jewish-and-roman-trials/
- THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/16/the-passion-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-3-the-scourging-at-the-pillar/
- THE CROWNING WITH THORNS: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/21/the-passion-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-the-crowning-with-thorns/
- THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/23/the-passion-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-5-the-carrying-of-the-cross/
- HOW TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/13/how-to-meditate-on-the-passion-of-our-lord/
- SUMMARY OF CATHOLIC TEACHING. THE PASSION AND DEATH ON THE CROSS: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/03/19/summaries-of-catholic-teaching-topic-10-the-passion-and-death-on-the-cross-of-our-lord-jesus-christ/
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N.B.: Just a friendly reminder, today Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence.
As a sign of repentance, in reparation for our sins and in order to strengthen our will and live a spiritual poverty which leads to interior freedom, our Mother Church recommends FASTING* (during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, mandatory for those 18-59 years of age inclusive) and ABSTINENCE from meat and poultry (during Fridays of Lent, mandatory for those who are 14 years or older).
Fasting is understood as having ONE NORMAL MEAL during the day. Depending on the customs of each country, it is allowed to take a VERY LIGHT BREAKFAST and a VERY LIGHT DINNER if the principal meal is lunchtime; or a very light lunch if the principal heavy meal is done at night. During the rest of the day, one must not eat, taking into account that water and medication do not break the fast.
ALL HEALTHY CATHOLICS FROM 18-59 INCLUSIVE ARE OBLIGED TO FAST AND ABSTAIN, UNLESS ONE HAS THE PROPER DISPENSATION FROM THE LEGITIMATE CHURCH AUTHORITY. Those who have the dispensation from the proper legitimate Church authority are not obliged to fulfill the Church law on fasting and abstinence. Moreover, all those who, due to physical or moral motives, encounter important difficulties e.g., the sick or those recovering from illness, persons suffering from poverty or malnutrition and those who have to carry out tough manual labor…are also not obliged to fulfill this norm on fasting and abstinence.
PHOTO SOURCE: Juan de Mesa, “Cristo de la Buena Muerte” (1602) scanned from “Pasión en Sevilla”, n. 75, March 2015, Venta exclusiva con ABC de Sevilla, p. 52.
SUGGESTED READINGS FOR PERSONAL MEDITATION:
St. Josemaría, “Christ’s Death is the Christian’s Life” in http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/christ_is_passing_by-chapter-10.htm
Benedict XVI, “Address after the Via Crucis, March 21, 2008” in http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2008/march/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080321_via-crucis-colosseo.html