Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 / Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 / John 18:1 - 19::42
Good Friday is the only day in the year where the Church does not celebrate a Mass. What we have today is a Good Friday Service.
In this Service, we participate in the Passion reading of the Gospel, then we move on to the Solemn Intercessions where we unite with Jesus as He is suffering on the Cross and as He prays for the salvation of the world.
After that we will have the Showing and the Adoration of the Holy Cross. We come forward to adore and venerate the Cross on which Jesus was crucified, because through the Cross, Jesus had turned it from an instrument of death to a means of salvation.
And finally we come for Holy Communion as we unite ourselves with Jesus in His suffering and death.
The suffering of Jesus and the Cross is the common thread that runs throughout the Service. We will recall that at the Garden of Gethsamane, Jesus implored God to let the cup of suffering pass Him by, but nonetheless, not His will but God's will be done.
As we venerate the Cross, we are also renewing our commitment to follow Jesus and to accept and carry our Cross and to die to our sins.
God did not save Jesus from death. Yes Jesus died on the Cross and was buried. But that is not the end of everything.
God did not save Jesus from death, but God saved Jesus out of death, and hence we wait in hope to celebrate the Resurrection.
May the suffering of Jesus give us strength in overcoming our sins and weaknesses. May the Cross be for us a sign of hope and salvation as we die to our sins as trusting that God will save us out of death.
And just as Jesus rose from the dead and overcame death and sin, may we also believe that God will save us out of death and grant us new life in the Resurrection of Jesus.