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Good Friday

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
 (Isaiah 52)

Throughout Lent we’ve been striving to pray more, fast better and give alms. We have been working on our character and virtue. Today, on Good Friday, let us continue. Whenever you feel weak during your fast, recall the suffering that Jesus endured for you. Good Friday is an ideal day to reflect on the Passion and Death of Christ that brought redemption for all of us.

In one of the most compelling and powerful scenes of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, when it’s time to carry the cross, Jesus embraces and kisses His Cross.  This scene is so powerful and a beautiful illustration of how Christ wants us to embrace our own crosses.

How can we embrace our own crosses?  As stated above, when we are having a particularly difficult time fasting (or experiencing any sort of suffering), we can try to remember that Jesus suffered and died a painful death so that we might be redeemed and enter heaven.  Yes, we are humans with a tendency to sin and give in to temptation.  Each time we sin, if we think of that as a scourge to Christ’s back or a nail in his hands or feet, perhaps we can strive to make the conscious choice not to sin.  Fasting helps to give us the graces to resist sin and embrace virtue.

“He descended into hell.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: (636) By the expression “he descended into hell,” the Apostles Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death.” (Heb 2:14)
(637) In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.

There are many ways that we can commemorate Good Friday:
– Fast and pray
– Attend Good Friday Service
– Fast from speaking from noon to three p.m. (the hours that Jesus hung on the cross)
– Stations of the Cross (accompany Jesus during His passion)
– Read Scripture
– Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
– Pray the Seven Sorrows Chaplet
– Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet
Recite the Chaplet of the Holy Fast
Stations of the Cross meditations:
Pope Francis
EWTN (Mother Angelica)

When we fast today, let us remember all those who are carrying heavy crosses in their daily lives, especially all those who are being persecuted for their faith, for all the community prayer intentions, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for the Holy Father.

Holy Mary, pray for us!  Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!

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