Good Friday Reflection 2023

Apr 07, 2023

April 7 -Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Readings: Is 52:13—53:12, Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25, Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9, Jn 18:1—19:42

Prayer: Lord, may I never take for granted what you did for me on Calvary.

Reflection: Of all the Liturgies of the year, the most striking to me, has always been the Liturgy for today— Good Friday. The somber silence that starts the service has always been jarring. Usually, when we sit down to hear the first reading, the entrance song has already lifted our spirits.

And for most of the year, by the time we read the First Reading, the Gloria would still be ringing in our hearts. But today we begin the First Reading in silence.

Isaiah does little to dispel the dreary disposition of the devout souls who are present.

“Who would believe what we have heard?… Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny?”

As we hear those words, it is unmistakable that Isaiah is talking about Christ. But on Palm Sunday, who would connect these words to Jesus? Who, after seeing crowds press in on Jesus, would expect that He would be beaten so severely that he was unidentifiable?

When thousands of people ran along the shore of the Sea of Galilee to see Jesus again after He fed them all, who would think to say, “But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity”?

Sitting here now, two-thousand years later, with the benefit of hindsight, one name comes to mind— Mary. Mary would have been prepared for this somber day. Especially after hearing the prophecy of Simeon, Mary must have searched Scripture for some explanation— any answer available to prepare her for the worst. How do we know this? Because she stood at the foot of the cross. Tradition tells us that she was comforting others in this moment of unimaginable grief.

Her example should serve as a guide for how we can prepare for uncertain times: diligently and prayerfully search Scripture for how we are to face adversity.

Don’t just read Scripture. Ask God every day, “How can I grow in virtue through today’s readings?”

How can I learn to have courage and be stouthearted? (Psalm 31:23)

How can I learn obedience from what I suffer? (Hebrews 5:8)

Prayer: Lord, make me a beloved disciple, who, from that hour of Divine Mercy, takes Mary into our home. (John 19:27)

Closing: Make a resolution today to accompany Mary everyday in rememberance of the Supreme Act of Love offered for us on Calvary by praying the rosary. May Jesus never say of us, “Insult has broken my heart and I despair. I looked for compassion, but there was none, for comforters, but found none.” (Psalm 69:21)

Carl Brown is the Development & Stewardship Communication Manager for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He and his wife, Amy have been married 28 years and have 6 kids

This reflection was originally posted at The Catholic Telegraph:

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