March 29, 2024
Good Friday
Beauty, Hope and New Life
Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden…
John 18:1

John’s account of the Passion begins and ends in two gardens. Aren’t gardens places of beauty, hope and new life? Yet, the story that is told between these two gardens is a story of ugliness, despair and death. But we must remember: Things aren’t always what they appear to be.

On one level, the crucifixion is filled with ugliness: scourging, nails driven into hands and feet, hanging on the Cross for hours. But if we look beneath this ugliness, we can see something of beauty: Jesus’ great love for us. And because of that great love, we can be filled with hope—no matter what ugliness we might be experiencing in our personal lives or in the larger world. And, though the story here ends with Jesus’ death and burial in a garden, we know the story of Jesus does not end in death. For his death leads to the new life of the Resurrection—and to the possibility of eternal life for all of us.

- Sr. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.

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

Comments

March 29, 2024 at 06:30 PM

Living faith family sorry for posting this late but my blessed job required me to work today. Sitting contemplating I am praying for you guys and praying for the souls in purgatory. Baltimore and Gaza Ukraine and the trouble in our country. Will share this prayer for the souls in purgatory. Happy Easter you are special to me. 84 1) Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen. 2) Prayer to Have a Merciful Heart Towards Others by St. Faustina O Jesus, I understand that Your mercy is beyond all imagining. I ask You, therefore, to make my heart so big that there will be room in it for the needs of all the souls living on this whole earthly globe. O Jesus, my love reaches beyond the world to the souls suffering in Purgatory, and I want to exercise mercy toward them by means of indulgenced prayers. God’s mercy is unfathomable and inexhaustible, just as God Himself is unfathomable. Were I to use the strongest words for expressing this mercy of God, they are nothing in comparison with what it is in reality. O Jesus, make my heart sensitive to all the sufferings of my neighbor whether they be of body or of soul. O my Jesus, I know that You act toward us as we act toward our neighbor. My Jesus, make my heart like unto Your merciful Heart. Jesus, help me to go through life doing good to everyone. Amen. Source: Diary of St. Faustina, II, #132 3) Eternal Rest Prayer V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 4) Prayer to Jesus Christ for the Holy Souls by St. Alphonsus Liguori O most sweet Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, have mercy on these Blessed Souls. Have mercy on them. O Lord. O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them O Lord O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them. O Lord. O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them. O Lord. O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them. O Lord. O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them. O Lord. O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them. O Lord. (Recommend yourself to the Souls in Purgatory and mention your intentions) Blessed Souls, we have prayed for thee; we entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for us miserable sinners, who are in danger of being damned, and of losing God forever. Let us pray: O God, the author of mercy, the lover of the salvation of mankind; we address thy clemency, in behalf of our brethren, relations, and benefactors, who are departed this life, that by the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, and of all the saints, thou wouldst receive them into, the enjoyment of eternal happiness; through Christ our Lord. Amen. 5) Litany for the Poor Souls in Purgatory O Jesus, Thou suffered and died that all mankind might be saved and brought to eternal happiness.  Hear our pleas for further mercy on the souls of: My dear parents and grandparents, my Jesus mercy! My brothers and sisters and other near relatives, my Jesus mercy! My godparents and sponsors of confirmation, my Jesus mercy! My spiritual and temporal benefactors, my Jesus mercy! My friends and neighbors, my Jesus mercy! All for whom love or duty bids me pray, my Jesus mercy! Those who have offended me, my Jesus mercy! Those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me, my Jesus mercy! Those who are especially beloved by Thee, my Jesus mercy! Those whose release is near at hand, my Jesus mercy! Those who desire most to be united to Thee, my Jesus mercy! Those who endure the greatest sufferings, my Jesus mercy! Those whose release is most remote, my Jesus mercy! Those who are least remembered, my Jesus mercy! Those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church, my Jesus mercy! The rich, who now are the most destitute, my Jesus mercy! The mighty, who now are powerless, my Jesus mercy! The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly, my Jesus mercy! The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness, my Jesus mercy! The poor, who did not seek the treasures of heaven, my Jesus mercy! The tepid, who devoted little time to prayer, my Jesus mercy! The indolent, who neglected to perform good works, my Jesus mercy! Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments, my Jesus mercy! The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace, my Jesus mercy! Parents who failed to watch over their children, my Jesus mercy! Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them, my Jesus mercy! Those who strove for worldly riches and pleasures, my Jesus mercy! The worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service of God, my Jesus mercy! Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own, my Jesus mercy! Those who did not provide for the life hereafter, my Jesus mercy! Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them, my Jesus mercy! The popes, kings, and rulers, my Jesus mercy! The bishops and their counselors, my Jesus mercy! My teachers and spiritual advisors, my Jesus mercy! The deceased priests of this diocese, my Jesus mercy! The priests and religious of the Catholic Church, my Jesus mercy! The defenders of the holy faith, my Jesus mercy! Those who died on the battlefield, my Jesus mercy! Those who fought for their country, my Jesus mercy! Those who were buried in the sea, my Jesus mercy! Those who died of apoplexy, my Jesus mercy! Those who died of heart attacks, my Jesus mercy! Those who suffered and died of cancer, my Jesus mercy! Those who die suddenly in accidents, my Jesus mercy! Those who died without the last rites of the Church, my Jesus mercy! Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours, my Jesus mercy! My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgment seat, my Jesus mercy! Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them: For evermore with Thy saints, because Thou art gracious. May the prayer of Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, benefit the souls of Thy departed servants and handmaids: that Thou mayest both deliver them from all their sins, and make them to be partakers of Thy redemption. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

March 29, 2024 at 04:28 PM

Amen Bill. Well said. My brother and I are visiting our other brother in Florida. We went to a different service today called the Chalice Mass at a Maronite Catholic Church. Was beautiful. Working through our sadness towards anticipation and celebration. Amen.

March 29, 2024 at 03:00 PM

This is a familiar day for us. We've done it many times before. Prayed for someone who has died. Through sickness, accident or violence. We've lost family members, friends or even those we hear on the news. We are filled with sorrow and regret. What more could we have done. But now we look forward. Today is sorrowful. Tomorrow is a feeling of anticipation. But, Sunday, Sunday will be a Celebration. A time to Rejoice and be Glad. Get ready for it!

March 29, 2024 at 12:07 PM

Gratefully grieving today, praying the depth of what He did for us is absorbed into my bones.

March 29, 2024 at 11:30 AM

Lord please hear our prayers and bring your light to all those suffering in Baltimore with the Bridge collapse, Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Send them your light. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

March 29, 2024 at 11:03 AM

Oh, today's readings are so rich, I love them! They are the same BSF lessons 23-25 for the last 3 weeks just in time for Easter especially for me!!! https://www.bsfblog.org *** This is Good Friday for us in Isaiah 53:4-6, "He suffered the things we should have suffered. He took on Himself the pain that should have been ours. But we thought God was punishing Him. We thought God was wounding Him and making Him suffer. But the Servant was pierced because we had sinned. He was crushed because we had done what was evil. He was punished to make us whole again. His wounds have healed us. All of us are like sheep. We have wandered away from God. ALL (means everyone) of us have turned to our own way. And the Lord has placed on His Servant the sins of all of us!" *** This is Good Friday as God was, is always and will be in control of all things in Isaiah 53:10, "The Lord says, “It was My plan to crush Him and cause Him to suffer. I made His life an offering to pay for sin. But He will see all His children after Him. In fact, He will continue to live. My plan will be brought about through Him!" *** This is Good Friday bringing glory to God in Isaiah 53:11-12, "After He has suffered, He will see the light of life. And He will be satisfied. My godly servant will make many people godly because of what He will accomplish. He will be punished for their sins. So I will give Him a place of honor among those who are great. He will be rewarded just like others who win the battle. That’s because He was willing to give His life as a sacrifice. He was counted among those who had committed crimes. He took the sins of many people on Himself. And He gave His life for those who had done what is wrong.” ******* "John’s account of the Passion begins and ends in two gardens." makes me think of the garden of Eden where I believe the Passion of Christ begins in Genesis 3:15, "I will make you and the woman hate each other. Your children and her children will be enemies. Her son will crush your head. And you will bite his heel.” *** God didn't answer Jesus' prayer to take this cup away from Him according to my human mind, but He did hear His prayer according to Hebrew 5:7, "While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One Who could rescue Him from death. And God heard His prayers because of His deep reverence for God!" *** Think about how God heard your prayers but didn't give you what you asked for!!! He gave Jesus for all of us!!! When was the last time you asked for this cup to pass and He put through the wringer? He does that with me all the time training me to want what He wants, to love what He loves, and to sacrifice what He sacrifices!!! *** The Jesus Way by Phil Wickham https://youtu.be/ARSGgC9iQb0?si=qxI4-FyJw65lM97r

March 29, 2024 at 10:14 AM

Beautiful reflection, Sister Melannie. A perfect blend of the real suffering of Our Lord, and the deep love He has for all of us. His Love for Humanity has no boundaries. A Blessed Good Friday to everyone

March 29, 2024 at 08:18 AM

Let us spend 3 hours in silence today, as Jesus suffered for 3 hours on the cross before commending His spirit to His Father.

March 29, 2024 at 08:14 AM

Thank you Sr Melannie, Jesus does indeed fill us with hope! I look forward to reading my “black book” during lent and the last sentence today touched me…”Good Friday. It ought to be no ordinary day.” A blessed Good Friday to all ❤️

March 29, 2024 at 07:45 AM

Yes ... Jesus, I trust in You, no matter how dark and bleak it looks.

Jesus Christ crucified on the Cross at Calvary. Image by alexandarilich | stock.adobe.com
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