Good Friday

As a kid growing up, I could never get Good Friday.  Granted, it was a day off school so from that standpoint it was definitely a good day.  In fact, in those days even the public school kids got a four-day weekend being off for Good Friday and “Good Monday.”  Good Friday was also the day when we ate salmon patties and creamed peas.


Even today in our uber-politically correct society, this is a special day in the secular world. The stock market is closed. Some businesses are closed. Of course our elected employees have the day off from passing anti-Christian laws. Go figure.


Kids are still off school, but they don’t call it Good Friday. They call it “spring holiday” or some other PC nonsense, but amazingly, it still coincides with the day Christians know as Good Friday. Still, to my pre-adolescent, borderline Christian mind, it just didn’t make sense to me that the day of Jesus’ crucifixion was “good”.  I thought it should have been called “Bad Friday”.


But as I got older, especially when I joined the Catholic Church I began to realize that Jesus had to die.  His death on that fateful Friday afternoon was for me.  He died so that my sins could be forgiven.


Even so, if that had been the end of it, if He had just died, then I would still feel like it was a bad trade.  The death of the Son of God in exchange for my sins wouldn’t have been a very good deal.


Ironically, by dying Jesus defeated death.  Not because He died, but because He rose on the third day.  His glorious resurrection meant that it was ok for me to die because, with His grace and forgiveness, I can rise too.  I no longer have to fear death because the end of this life isn’t the end.  It’s actually the beginning.


Jesus died for my sins and for your sins.  Keep that in mind today as you fast and abstain from meat, a small price to pay for such a great gift.  Lent has ended.  We don’t celebrate mass today but we do gather to remember.  We receive the Blessed Body of Christ and we kiss the cross, recognizing that this ancient means of execution is now the means of our salvation.


We’ll take everything off the altar to get ready for a new beginning. When you come back tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning, Jesus will be gone from the tomb, replaced by the resurrected Lord. We’ll have a new altar cloth and lots of candles and flowers. We’ll sing “Glory to God in the Highest!”   Jesus has saved us from ourselves. How could there ever be a greater gift than that?



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