Posted by: fvbcdm | April 3, 2015

Good Friday (3 April 2015)

Today is Good Friday. We can be sure that down through the centuries of Christianity, countless children have asked their parents or teachers: Why do we call it “Good” Friday when they caused Jesus so much suffering on this day?

The answer, of course, is that it is good because what Our Lord accomplished for us by his sufferings and death on the cross made it possible for us to achieve our supreme good—eternal union with God in heaven, which is the whole purpose of our existence. The original sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, closed to all humankind the gates of heaven. But our heavenly Father would not allow his plan for the eternal happiness of his human children to be thwarted by sin, so a means had to be found to undo the damage done by sin and reopen the gates of salvation for mankind.

The means was Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ. First, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity became a man, a member of our human race. Then, after he had gone through all the stages of human development, from a tiny unborn baby in the womb of his virgin mother, to an infant, a child, an adolescent, and an adult man, he then came to the moment for which his incarnation had taken place. God cannot suffer physically or die, but the Man Jesus, who is God, could suffer physically and die, and did so to make atonement or reparation for sin.

Did he have to undergo all that suffering to achieve our salvation? No. The great theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that he could have simply asked his Father to forgive us, and forgiveness would have been ours. But that would not have impressed anyone with the evil of sin, the love of God for us, and the great price that Christ the Savior was willing to pay for that forgiveness. When we look at a crucifix, we see an image of a Man who is very much in love with us. “Greater love than this no one has,” he tells us in the gospel, “than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” God is love; Jesus is God; therefore, Jesus is love, and his love extends to the other two Persons of the Divine Trinity and to every human being that God has created. On the cross he died for you and for me. And so we can very appropriately pray on this Good Friday: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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