Jesus revealed to his disciples , that except He, as the grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, there can be no salvation .
By saying this , he teaches us the necessity of the cross , he shows us the anguish of the cross, and the glorious triumph of the cross.
Two trees of great importance are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. The tree in the garden of Eden and the tree of the Cross. The one in Eden, brought misery, pain and a great loss to our First Parents, Adam and Eve. By eating its forbidden fruit, they disobeyed God and this tree became a symbol of death. The tree of the cross, on the contrary, is a sign of life and victory over sin and death. ” When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself”.
Jesus preached God’s message in the synagogue , on the lake -shore , even from a fisherman’s boat. He preached in the streets and on the mountains. But the most effective sermon was preached from the cross. Jesus brought God’s love to mankind : the cross was the climax of his teachings, the completion of his mission, ” I have finished the work which my Father gave me to do “. Now it is finished. Our salvation is completed through the wood of the cross. Jesus on the cross , made us for ever certain of God’s love. ST. Paul writes , ” It is precisely in this way that God proves his love for us , that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
After the crucifixion , we can no longer say that God is indifferent to the human situation, God has loved us to death. From the cross Christ demonstrated his love. On the cross, we see the defeat of sin and death and the wonderful universal love of God. If you want to see how much God loves you, look at his crucified Son.
Good Friday is a day of mourning , of prayerful contemplation on the sufferings and death of Jesus. The Church is in mourning .To impress us with a sense of mourning, we are left with a sense of emptiness :: the tabernacle is empty, no holy water, no flowers or devotional candles , it is a time of sorrow. But , we are not to sit and watch the Cross as something done and ended. Christ finished his work when he was lifted up on the cross. We finish ours when we permit Jesus to draw is unto himself. ” Into your hands, O God, I commend my spirit”.
Then we wait. We wait with all believers for a renewal, for a new life brought by the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday , the principal and the oldest feast of the Christian Church. ‘Resurrexit , sicut dixit’::He rose, as he promised ‘. ALLELUIA.
Prayer:: Father, look with love upon your people, the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us when he delivered himself to evil men and suffered the agony of the cross, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Bk. of Christian Prayer).
God bless you and yours. Fr. David, O.P.