Reflections on the Cross – Good Friday, 2nd of April 2021
Of all days of the Triduum for many Good Friday and devotion to the cross is where reality and faith are meet in an intimate way and speak deeply to each other!
In the words of CS Lewis – “We can ignore … pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”.
Pain, the Cross and all associated with it speaks loudly to us and is it any surprise that Good Friday is in some ways at the heart of the faith journey for so many.
Examples from our Tradition of Devotion to the Cross
And so as part of our tradition we have a strong Devotion to the Cross, not just as an instrument of torture and death for Jesus, but as the weapon of our salvation, redemption and pathway to heaven.
And so we bless ourselves with the sign of the Cross.
The crucifix is central in every Church sanctuary all over the world.
We hang crucifixes on the walls in our homes, schools, institutions.
We wear emblems of the Cross as an object of devotion and a form of adornment.
We have devotions and prayers before the crucifix.
We venerate the Cross publicly on Good Friday, in non-Covid times.
We have devotion to the famous “Seven last words of Jesus on the Cross”.
We do the Stations of the Cross, Turas na Croise. What an interesting example of that we have this year in Ennis with the Way of the Heart on the streets of town, contemporary scenes of suffering, linking in to the Stations of the Cross.
I am so conscious that so much of the past year with the global pandemic has brought with it a heightened sense of suffering and more and more people need the redemptive message of this day, on this Good Friday.
Good Friday Prayer
On this Good Friday may our devotion to the Cross and linking in solidarity with the vicarious suffering of Jesus bring us closer to our salvation, our true destiny in heaven free from the pains and anguishes of this world and the human condition.
O KING OF THE FRIDAY
O King of the Friday
Whose limbs were stretched on the Cross,
O Lord who did suffer The bruises, the wounds, the loss,
We stretch ourselves
Beneath the shield of thy might,
Some fruit from the tree of thy passion
Fall on us this night!
THE FIRST WORD
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
THE SECOND WORD
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
THE THIRD WORD
“Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
THE FOURTH WORD
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34
THE FIFTH WORD
THE SIXTH WORD
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished;”
and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit.
THE SEVENTH WORD
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”