Study: Where have I made sacrifices in my life? What do these sacrifices reveal about my values and priorities?
Pray: Reflect on those who are suffering right now. Draw near to them in your prayer, asking the Lord to give them strength.
Serve: Who is carrying a cross in your life today? How can you help them?
Good Friday Readings
Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (10 minutes)
For what would you give your life? For who?
Perhaps this is too extreme as a starting point. Perhaps the first question should be where in my life have I made consistent sacrifices? Where in my life have I given up something because I believed in something more important?
Sacrifices reveal the depth and character of our heart. They show our values, principles, and convictions in straightforward and direct ways. Our sacrifices quickly point out the hidden parts of our soul – either to be confirmed/denied by the words we speak – and proclaim to others our inner self.
In general sacrifice means giving our lives – sometimes in simple service, minor inconveniences, labors of love, seasons of selflessness, or in extreme cases: offering our lives. We make sacrifices all the time.
So did Christ.
As we read the Passion of the Lord today we discover the love Christ has for every human soul; the Lord willingly hung upon the Cross for our sins – sacrificing his innocent life for the pains and hurts we have inflicted upon one another. His sacrifice reveals his love for us (even on our worst days) as something so precious that it is worth all the pain and humiliation that the devil could provide.
Where do we see ourselves in the Passion? What crosses have we been given to carry – participating in some small way with the Cross of Christ? Or are we like Simon of Cyrene or Veronica – assisting with others in their own journey to Calvary? Are we making sacrifices or offering support for others in their need? We read the Passion every year on Good Friday to remind ourselves not only of what the Lord has done for us, but also that we, too, have a part to play. Our crosses participate in the Cross of Christ; our support for one another shares in the comfort which others offered to Jesus.
May this Good Friday drive us to our knees – thanking the Lord for what he did for us, and inspiring us to walk willingly with others in their need.
The crucifixion, Pieter Lastman; 1616, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands.