April 14, 2017
by Luis Rodriguez
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
Lectionary: 40


Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Hebrew 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1—19:42

Good Friday Prayer

Preparing for Good Friday

The Stations of the Cross

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Preparing for the Easter Vigil

Papal Preacher's Good Friday Homily

It is simply hard to comprehend the event of the Lord’s passion and death by itself, since it is part of the one Christ event of passion-death-resurrection. But in our attempt to grasp its depth and meaning, to the extent that we can come to grasp it, we need to go to Gethsemane, since from Jesus’ angle everything flows from there.

At Gethsemane Jesus clearly expresses his reluctance to enter what he can anticipate coming. In different words, he asks his Father: Is not there some other way to go about this? Yet: Not what I want, but what you, Father, want. Jesus was willing to remain faithful to his Father’s understanding of his mission at any price. But it was neither he nor his Father who named the price, his adversaries did. And he was willing to pay the price. It was Jesus’ commitment to pay that price in faithfulness to his mission that gives meaning to what followed.

It is important that we look at the passion from inside Jesus’ heart, not just from the externals of what others –the ones who named the price– inflicted on him. This is why, in my opinion, Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ misses the point, as it focuses on the cruel punishment others inflicted on him. Granted, it would have been more difficult cinematographically to convey the Lord’s internal disposition. We need to accompany Jesus interiorly with the inner freedom to ask him: What was going through your heart at that point? Not that this will give us a full grasp of his passion and death, but it will help us to grow in solidarity with Jesus and, by “entering” his heart, we can discover a deeper meaning of the devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

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