Meditations for Good Friday
Jesus accepts the cross. He accepts to suffer for us who reject the cross. We refuse to suffer; we declare suffering unjust, whereas it is pure justice. We would all be lost if Jesus, our Saviour, had refused to suffer for us. We would all be condemned if it were not for the infinite merits acquired by the Holy Passion of Our Lord, and for His infinite mercy.
Let us thank Jesus and especially recall the great feats of love He performed during His Passion. Let us thank Him for saving us, almost despite ourselves. Indeed, God sends us sufferings and trials of all kinds in order to save us despite ourselves, as it were. Men would be lost and would fall into hell if God let them lead an easy life, for “the road to heaven is narrow.” Since God does not want the fruits of His Redemption to be useless, in His goodness and mercy He sends us, poor humans, sufferings of all sorts.
Let us ask for the grace to profit from these sufferings by accepting them with a lot of love. Let us kiss the cross that God presents to us. Yes, my brothers and sisters, let us be thankful for the favor of the cross, which is suffering in all its forms. The cross is the greatest gift that God can grant us on earth! It is the gift He offers to His dearest friends. It is the sign of the predestined, the unmistakable sign of divine mercy and predestination. Let us thank God wholeheartedly for it and ask Him for the grace to love the cross.
Father John Gregory, On the Way to Calvary, Way of the Cross, Editions Magnificat, 1988, 2nd Station, p. 5-6
Let us contemplate our divine Saviour, lifted up between heaven and earth. His Most Holy Mother is there to receive His last words: “Woman, behold Your son; son, behold your Mother.” Jesus has given us everything, and at this supreme moment He gives us what is most precious to Him on earth: He gives us His Mother, He gives Her to us for all time and eternity. In the person of Saint John, we all received this precious gift. We have become children of Mary. We can never show God enough gratitude for this.
Let us ask the Mother of Sorrows to imprint the wounds of Jesus Crucified deep within our hearts. Let us ask Her to teach us the things of heaven. We are so limited… All the mysteries of our religion lie far beyond our grasp, especially the great mystery of our Redemption. A God becoming man and dying for His creatures! Who can understand this mystery of love? It remains something we cannot conceive in our little human minds, but it is a reality. A mystery is something that surpasses human intelligence, but is nonetheless a reality. Our Saviour died for us, and we should reflect on this as often as possible.
Father John Gregory, On the Way to Calvary, Way of the Cross, Editions Magnificat, 1988, 12th Station, p. 26-27
Let us contemplate Jesus disfigured, His head crowned with thorns, His body all tattered and torn. His many wounds reveal God’s love for us. Who among us would be ready to suffer torments in place of his neighbor? That would constitute a great proof of love which no one could ever doubt.
If one of us were condemned to suffer all the torments Jesus underwent – the scourging, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion – and someone came up and said, ‟No, no, my friend, leave it to me; I’ll take your place, I’ll suffer those things in your place,” would you be able to doubt that person’s love for you, even for a moment? Yet that is what Jesus did for us…
Let us make a serious examination of conscience, asking ourselves whether we are truly walking in the footsteps of our suffering Jesus. We spend all our time whining and complaining instead, thinking about how unjustly people treat us. As we face Jesus in His sufferings, let us once and for all realize and accept the fact that we deserve to suffer in atonement for our sins. It is the least we can do in this world if we want to share in Jesus’ kingdom.
Father John Gregory, On the Way to Calvary, Way of the Cross, Editions Magnificat, 1988, 13th Station, p. 29-30