Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 2:1-2
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI said, “For St. Paul, the Cross has a fundamental primacy in the history of humanity; it represents the focal point of his theology because to say ‘Cross’ is to say salvation as grace given to every creature. The topic of the Cross of Christ becomes an essential and primary element of the Apostle’s preaching. The first Christian communities that Paul addressed knew well that Jesus was henceforth alive and risen; the Apostle does not only want to remind the Corinthians or the Galatians but also all of us that the Risen One is always the One who has been crucified. The ‘stumbling block’ and ‘folly’ of the Cross lies in the very fact that where there seems to be nothing but failure, sorrow and defeat, there is the full power of God’s boundless love, for the Cross is an expression of love and love is the true power that overcomes all.”
Child of God, in a very real sense, the Cross crystallizes the essence of the ministry of Jesus. Paul was determined to know nothing except Christ crucified. Clearly, Paul was determined not to know all kinds of things besides the Person and work of Jesus. He wanted to teach the Corinthians about the deep things of the character and nature of God the Father. He planned to instruct them about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, about Christian ethics, and about many other things that go beyond the immediate scope of Christ’s work on the Cross. So why, then, did he say this? The answer is obvious. Paul was saying that in all of his teachings, in all of his preaching, in all of his missionary activities, the central point of importance was the Cross. In effect, this teacher was saying to his students, “You might forget other things that I teach you, but don’t ever forget the Cross, because it was on the Cross, through the Cross, and by the Cross that our Savior performed His work of redemption and gathered His people for eternity.”
MASS: RED Mass is not celebrated today. Celebration of the Lord’s Passion: Is 52:13. 53:12; Ps 31: 2. 6. 12-13. 15-16. 17. 25 (R. Lk 23:46b); Heb 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9; Accl. Phil 2:8b.9; Jn 18: 1. 19:42 GOOD FRIDAY. DAY OF FAST (AGES 18-59) AND ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT (AGE 14 AND UP).
“O Jesus, who by reason of Thy burning love for us hast willed to be crucified and to shed Thy Most precious blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls. Look down upon us here gathered together in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful passion and death, fully trusting in Thy mercy; cleanse us from our sins by Thy grace, sanctify our toil, give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our daily bread, sweeten our sufferings, bless our families, and to the nations so sorely afflicted, grant Thy peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Thy commandments we may come at last to the glory of heaven.”