Liturgical Colour : Red
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate Good Friday, the day when Jesus Christ our Lord, laid down His life for us by dying on the cross in atonement for our sins, and suffering the effects and the punishments for our sins, He was tortured and scourged for the consequences of our sins, and He died so that we will not suffer the ultimate consequence of sin, that is death.
Jesus was the suffering servant mentioned in the first reading today taken from the Book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus was the Son of God, mighty and all powerful, but for our sake and for His love, He was willing to go through all those sufferings and great pains in our place. Remember always, brethren, every time we look at the cross and the crucifix, that He died for us.
Many nowadays have no more regards for God and His love, and this is because we have lost our sensitivity to His love and in our worldliness and our lifestyles, we centre ourselves more and more on our ego and our desires, no longer witnessing and realising the great love and mercy which God had extended to us, with no greater example than that of the death of Jesus, His own Son, on the cross for us.
In today’s situation, in our world, many have abandoned God and sought refuge in other places and found other sources of inspiration and belief outside of God. That is the sad truth about humanity, and more and more are leaving God for the refuge in the pleasures and goodness of this world, and they depend more and more on their human wisdom and understanding rather than on the love and wisdom of God.
Why? Why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ? Why such violent rejection of the Lord and His love that had been shown through the cross? That is because mankind had sealed themselves off from God’s love, and instead of understanding and appreciating the love of God in them, they grew distant and apathetic to love, not just God’s love, but also love in general.
Again, why so? This is in fact because we lack faith, we lack hope, and we lack love. We fail to realise that God loves us so much, that He gave it all through Jesus and His death on the cross. We think of God as someone who is distant and wrathful, because He hates our sins and trespasses, and yet we failed to realise that as much as He hates our sins, even more it is that He loves us more than He hates the sins we commit.
On the other extreme of course, this does not mean that we should take advantage of God’s love for us by continuing to commit sins without cease, but indeed the Lord’s mercy and love is an opportunity for us to cast away our past sinfulness and mistakes and accept the fullness of God’s forgiveness. We must not close the doors of our hearts to God’s mercy.
Yes, brethren, for we have to always remember that God makes His mercy and forgiveness available to all freely, if we are just to accept this mercy with all of our hearts. We often fear God more than we love Him, and to many of us, God is not real and close, and this is the heart of the problem. Mankind has closed their hearts to God, and concerned only about themselves.
We are sinners, and we should have deserved death for our disobedience and rebelliousness, and yet God resolved to rescue us, even while we are still sinners and lived in sin. Every time we look at Jesus on the cross, hanging between the heaven and the earth, we see the One who loves us so much that even for unworthy servants like us, He was willing to save us by His own death.
The cross that Jesus bore was our sins, the collections of our faults, mistakes, failures and rebelliousness, which have added up to such a great weight that Jesus had to bore. And as mentioned in the first reading, the wounds and the piercing that Christ endured are all because of our sins too. Every sin we committed in our lives, be it small or big, they all cause great pains to the Lord, who yet bore those pains and sorrows with Him as He walked on the way to His death.
See how much God cares for us, for if not for His love, He would not have bothered to even worry about us, and less so to suffer all the scourges and humiliations for us. Therefore today we celebrate this occasion of Good Friday because we rejoice in the goodness of God, and how much good He had brought upon us this day. For He cast away the pall of death from our eyes and enable us to hope once again.
For once we were condemned to death and after Jesus died for us on the cross, the way to God that was once closed is once again open for us. Through His death, Jesus became the bridge that link all of us back to the Father, the way through which is the only way back to God the Father who loves us. All this was because Jesus died for us.
Again I want to reiterate how much God truly loves us. Jesus prays for us daily, and when He was in His suffering and Passion, He entreats God with His prayers for our sake, and cared only about us, and as St. Paul said in the second reading, that God listened to His prayers, and because of that, we are saved. Jesus prays for us all the time, and He cares for us and thinks about us, even as He carried up that great burden on His shoulders towards Calvary.
We have to open ourselves to God’s love and understand how much He truly is concerned for all of us. Certainly He would not want any of us to suffer eternal separation of death caused by our sins, that we end up in hell. That is why, brethren, we must never fear the Lord or His anger, but instead we have to give it our all, to seek His mercy and be truly repentant of our sinfulness. In this way, then the Lord will be able to work His mercy and we shall be forgiven.
May this Good Friday be a good opportunity for all of us to wake up from our deep slumber in the darkness and realise once again the great love and concern that the Lord had shown us. Let us turn our sight towards the Lord on the cross, and look at He who had died for us, and then make a commitment that we will always love He who had first loved us, that He gave His life for us, that we may not die but live! Amen.