Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:8

It was with heart and mind fixed on the death of Jesus on the cross, that George Benard was moved to write these words in 1913 “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suffering and shame, And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best, For a world of lost sinners was slain, So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it someday for a crown”

Today, we gather on the foot of that old rugged cross at Calvary, where Jesus hung to pay the eternal price. . In the solemn services of Good Friday, in the Love of the Cross, in the reading of the Passion, and in the reception of Holy Communion today, let us unite ourselves to Jesus our Savior, and let reflect on how far we have died to sin in the Death of our Lord. When we fixed our gaze on the cross, what’s most important is beholding the lamb that was slain, theOne who gave His life for us on that old cross because He loved us so much.

Dear friends in Christ, “…He became obedient to death, even death on a cross!” In obedience to the loving will of His Father, He accepted to cling to the cross which led Him to walk alone in the path that brought Him the painful death on that old rugged cross at Calvary. The moment He accepted to cling to the old rugged cross, the scripture say in Mark 15:40 “Then everyone deserted him and fled.” How often do we desert and flee from Jesus when walking with Him seems to lead us to a Good Friday experience? How often arebelievers rejecting the cross of Christ because of the self-denial, pain and sacrifice it demands? Good Friday teaches us a hard truth, that suffering has a salvific purpose in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 2:21 says; “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” We have been called to walk through the hill of Calvary into the perfect glory of the Resurrection. Many are they that have followed Jesus, only few of those closest to Him, joined Him to Calvary although from a distance, but only the thief on the right hand could confess faith in Jesus even when hanging on the cross. The thief on the right hand clung to the old rugged cross and got his Easter glory. Does suffering unite you more closely with Jesus?  If not, learn from today, to unite your sufferings with that of Jesus in anticipation of the experience of the glory of the Resurrection. According to Fulton J. Sheen “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” The urge to prevent or stop suffering by all means, even to the extent of using unchristian means is demonic. Peter the apostles tried it, what he got from Jesus was “get behind me, Satan”. One of the last temptation Jesus face even while on the cross was; “if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross” (Matt. 27:40). Although His human nature will urge Him to come down, faithfulness to His divine mission kept Him on the cross. We must discern our desire to escape and avoid the hard path to success, the strive to avoid the Good Friday experiences, to know if they are in accordance with God’s design. Let us conclude today’s reflection with the words of St. Francis of Assisi “We adore you and we bless you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all the churches which are in the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

Prayer Points:

  1. Begin your Prayer with this songs: (1) “All the way to Calvary, He went for me (x3), All the way to Calvary, He went for me, He died to set me free”, (2) “Draw me nearer, nearer to thee (x2), Lord, my songs every, father draw me nearer, draw me nearer, nearer to thee
  2. Take this prayer: Christ Jesus you hung upon a cross and died for us, So that we might live for you. Your body was broken and your blood shed, So that we might be healed and made whole. You were faithful unto death, So that we might be faithful unto life. Your last command was that we might love one another, One family together from every tribe and nation, A new creation united through your sacrifice. Redeemed by your blood, Healed by your love, United by your covenant of peace. In your death may we find life in the name of Jesus
  3. We adore You, O Christ and praise You. Because by your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world. (x12)

Exercise: Give your life to Jesus, today, and pray the Rosary of Divine Mercy

Memory Verse: Galatians 6:14