HOMILY FOR GOOD FRIDAY.
THEME: SUFFERING MESSIAH.
BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA
On Good Friday, we reflect on the significance of the cross and the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. The cross is a symbol of suffering and the message of the cross tells us that to live without suffering is to live in a fantasy world. However, the suffering that Jesus speaks about is not just suffering for the sake of suffering, but redemptive suffering that gives meaning to life.
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This Suffering comes in different forms, sickness, injuries, betrayal, oppression, deprivation, agony and pains, loss, sorrow, trouble, affliction, and torment. Redemptive suffering is to share in the cross of Jesus for spiritual growth, glory, and sanctification. The story of Job, that of Joseph, and the passion of Christ show us the nature of redemptive suffering. Joseph, Job, and Jesus suffered, but their humiliation led to their exultation.
According to the Prophet Isaiah, the “Suffering Servant shall be exalted and lifted up” (Isaiah 52:13) and “Will grow like a root out of the dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). Thus, the suffering servant becomes a model for all believers (1 Peter 2:21-25). St. Rose of Lima says, “Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” In Catechism we learn that “By His passion and death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering” (#1505). How ready are we to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus?
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