Volume 8, #39
Good Friday Reflection from Fr. John Nolan

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'Lord, by thy Cross and Resurrection
you have redeemed the world'
Dear Parishioners,

Good Friday is a particularly appropriate time to attempt to explore the true meaning of the cross through prayerful contemplation.

Looking at the Cross in prayer helps us to truly see it. Most Christians have crosses in their homes. Many wear a cross around their necks. Some of these are very beautiful, perhaps made of precious metal and embellished with jewels. The beauty of these devotional objects may emphasize the glory and the victory of Our Lord's Cross; but too often representations of this central symbol of our faith are regarded primarily as decorative, and its true message is lost.

We should remember each time we see a cross that it was an emblem of physical anguish and personal defilement; it was not triumph, but humiliation; it was not glory, but shame; it was not beauty, but a means of execution. What Jesus endured for us was the depth of ugliness and humiliation and we need reminders of the tremendous personal cost of His love.
This Christian sign is a very ancient one, mentioned by the early Fathers of the Church as being a habitual practice by the second century. Tertullian (155-240? AD) recounts that 'in all our travels in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross.'

On this Good Friday, we are still unable to come together as a community of believers, and so we turn to prayer. We can discover more deeply this Good Friday how our personal daily prayer leads us to take our part with greater fruitfulness in the Cross, and how in its turn this participation can enrich our personal prayer.

Prayer must be at the heart of our Christian life. Prayer is our window open to God. This day is above all a time of prayer to the One who loves us and calls us to the joy of His friendship. Today we focus our attention on the image of the Cross and how we can learn more fully the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice, and how to imitate His example.
Today we can hope that our prayers which focus on the Crucifixion will help us realize how each one of us is called to express a profound faith and trust in the glory of the Resurrection. Without the cross, there would be no Easter or empty tomb.

Fr. John Nolan
St. Joseph the Worker
700 E Spruce St
Chatham, IL 62629
Phone: 217-483-3772
Fax: 217-483-4581
Email: stjos@comcast.net
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