GOOD FRIDAY: Redeemed by love

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Judas consummated his betrayal and Jesus is apprehended. This happens after the Lord had accepted in Gethsemane the suffering from the hands of his Father and had given his ‘yes’ to all that was before him.

A YES that had to go through anguish and agony; a YES, after having asked his Father that, if possible, that cup might pass without his having to drink it (cf. Mt 26:39-44); a YES that expresses unconditional surrender to the Father; a YES out of love for us men.

Now Jesus gives himself without reserve to the suffering He has to endure for our Redemption; He faces all the mockery and humiliation, all the offences, the indifference and cruelty that He will encounter on His painful way. All the hatred of darkness hangs over Him; the dreadful darkness of sin with its terrible consequence: separation from God.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Mt 27:46)

It seems to be the hour of the Adversary’s triumph!

But it is not the hour of Evil, even if he pretends it is. It is the hour of the Lord, when darkness is conquered once and for all. It is the hour of the Lord’s unspeakable love for His Father and for us, His lost creatures. It is the hour when our Heavenly Father offers to all mankind forgiveness of guilt and salvation. It is the hour of the Lord; it is the day of Redemption; it is Good Friday!

“Like a lamb led to the slaughter-house”, the Lord walks that way which we call the Way of the Cross (Isa 53:7). Outwardly deprived of all power; but inwardly sustained by His Father, to fully accomplish His Will. Those who saw him pass by in Jerusalem found themselves face to face with the suffering servant of God, with the Messiah they had been waiting for, although He looked very different from what they would have imagined, without the honours and glamour befitting a king.

On His way to the Cross, Jesus meets His Mother, who remains faithful at His side. He also meets Veronica, who shows her love for Him, and the women of Jerusalem, whose weeping expresses their compassion for Him… These are souls who are not blinded like those who cause Him so much pain….

And then comes the moment of consummation. Jesus allows Himself to be crucified, to bring His mission to its culmination. Lifted up on the Cross, He redeems humanity; the Cross becomes the sign of our Redemption! The Heavenly Father Himself offered the sacrifice that Abraham did not have to offer:

“This is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)

In the face of all this, we can only say: “We adore Thee, O Holy God, and we thank Thee, for Thou hast redeemed us by Thy love, which led Thee to the Cross. Glory to Thee!“