Good Friday 2013

For the second time this week we participated in the solemn  proclamation of the Passion of the Lord. Last Sunday proclamation was from Luke, this Friday’s proclamation is from John. The purpose of these proclamations is to lead us to ask ourselves this fundamental question: What does the Passion and Death of the Lord mean to me? Again: What does the Passion and Death of the Lord mean to me?

The One who loved me before I ever knew him, before I ever knew myself, suffered and died for me. He took the sins of the world upon himself because I needed him to defeat evil, not just in the world, but in my life. I can’t view the sacrifice of Calvary as an event in the past.  It is a present reality for me.

He conquered sin for me and for you because we need him so badly.
The old, wise man Ignatius said, “Let me go to the Coliseum. I want to give witness, I am willing to die even if I have to coax the beasts to kill me”[1]. How strange!

The young rich girl, Cecilia, said, “Neither impoverishment, nor scorn, nor torture nor the threat of death will convince me to give up my Lord”[2] How strange!

Young and old, male and female throughout the ages, sought to lose everything the world valued as a testament to God. How strange!  And Jesus embraced his cross.  How very wonderful. He died for us that we might live for him.  How incredibly beautiful!

Today is a very good day ■

[1] Ignatius of Antioch (Ancient Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, also known as Theophorus from Greek Θεοφόρος "God-bearer") (ca. 35 or 50-between 98 and 117)[1] was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to Rome, where according to Christian tradition, he met his martyrdom, he wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
[2] Saint Cecilia (Latin: Sancta Caecilia) is the patroness of musicians and Church music because, as she was dying, she sang to God. It is also written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". St. Cecilia was an only child. Her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches on November 22. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. It was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband Valerian, his brother Tiburtius, and a Roman soldier Maximus, suffered martyrdom in about 230, under the Emperor Alexander Severus. The research of Giovanni Battista de Rossi, however, appears to confirm the statement of Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers (d. 600), that she perished in Sicily under Emperor Marcus Aurelius between 176 and 180. A church in her honor exists in Rome from about the 5th century, was rebuilt with much splendor by Pope Paschal I around the year 820, and again by Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrati in 1599. It is situated in Trastevere, near the Ripa Grande.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris