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Friday, April 3, 2015

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Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
John 18:1—19:42

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obey or betray?

"Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered." —Hebrews 5:8

Through His suffering and death, Jesus' appearance was marred beyond that of man (Is 52:14). "He was spurned and avoided by men, a Man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from Whom men hide their faces" (Is 53:3). Our infirmities He bore; our sufferings He endured (Is 53:4). He was "stricken," "smitten," "afflicted," "pierced," and "crushed" (Is 53:4-5). Jesus became "an Object of reproach, a Laughingstock," and "a Dread" (Ps 31:12). Jesus was dreadfully brutalized, tortured, and traumatized for love of us.

What will we do on this Good Friday? We do not have to accept His love. We have the freedom to make Jesus' cross meaningless for us (1 Cor 1:17). When we venerate the cross and kiss Jesus' wounds at the liturgy today, what will it mean? Will it be the kiss of Judas (see Lk 22:48) or the kiss of love? Will we decide today to obey the first commandment and love Jesus with all our hearts (Mt 22:37-38), or will we betray Him by refusing to let Him be our King (Jn 19:15)?

Jesus "became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him" (Heb 5:9). Obey totally and forever Jesus, Who for love of You obediently accepted "even death, death on a cross!" (Phil 2:8)

Prayer:  "Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit" (Lk 23:46).

Promise:  "He surrendered Himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses." —Is 53:12

Praise:  (none)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2014

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