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Good Friday, Year B – 2021

Good Friday… a day unlike all others.
The day of the Passion of the Lord.
A day when things happen and people behave in such strange ways…

The soldiers have arrested Jesus.
Jesus is brought to Annas – Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas (Jn.18:13-14).
Jesus is brought to Pilate – Pilate sends Jesus to Herod.
Jesus is brought to Herod – Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate (Lk.23:1-12).
Pilate tells the Jews to deal with Jesus – the Jews tell Pilate it is up to him to condemn Jesus (Jn.18:31).
Pilate tries to free Jesus – The Jews want Barrabas to be freed (Mt.27:17,20).

Washing of hands… it seems no one is ready to accept responsibility… (Mt.27:25).
A serious question: “What is truth?”… but no listening to the reply… (Jn.18:38).
A day when long-time disciples run away… (Mk.14:50).
A day when a close friend denies even knowing his friend… (Mt.26:69-75).

Some time before this fateful week, Jesus had said:
“Now my soul is troubled.
And what should I say: ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”    (John 12:27)
And for what reason?
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
No wonder that we call this day: GOOD Friday!


Note: Another reflection on a similar theme is available in French at:

Source: Images: Devotion to Our Lady    Heartlight   Pinterest   17QQ

Good Friday, Year B

“The crowds were appalled on seeing him –
so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human –
… without beauty, without majesty,
No looks to attract our eyes…
A man to make people screen their faces. »

This is what Isaiah tells us in the 1st reading of today celebration
(Good Friday, Year B: Is.52:13 – 53:12).
This is the picture we are presented with today:
Someone who no longer appears to be a human being
and who certainly does not appear… to be God.
Someone people prefer not to see, someone they choose to ignore, to move away from.

What if, for the word ‘people’, we substitute the words ‘we’, ‘us’?…
Isaiah did and this is what we read:
“We took no account of him…
We thought of him as someone punished, struck by God…”

No striking feature, except that of suffering.
No attractive trait, except that of suffering.
No appealing expression except that of suffering.
A veil covering the recognition of what appears before the onlookers, confronting them.

Yet, it is a misconception to think that Good Friday is the glorification of suffering.
Some well-intentioned preachers may say that Jesus suffered more than anyone else.
We are not asked to believe this.

The martyrs of the early Christian era,
the victims of Stalin of Russia,
of Hitler of Germany,
of Mao Tsé-Tung of China,
of Pol Pot of Cambodia,
of Idi Amin in Uganda,
and closer to us, of the so-called Islamic State torturers, to name but a few –

all of them have undergone unimaginable suffering.

Good Friday is not the glorification of suffering, it is the exaltation of love
the love of God made man,
though he no longer looked like either…
A love that made him to be “pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins.”
Indeed, “through his wounds we are healed.”
This Friday is indeed good if it enables us to understand what, some time before this day of ultimate suffering, Jesus has revealed to Nicodemus:

“Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
But so that through him the world might be saved.”   (Jn.3:16-17)

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at:

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