Rodriguez: No Good Friday, no Easter
I was telling two of my students recently that we have Good Friday off from school. One of them asked, “What is Good Friday?' I shook my head in disbelief. I know she attends church regularly. “What do you think Good Friday is?” I redirected the question to them.
After thinking a moment, one asks, “Is it when they have sales?”
I shook my head, again in disbelief. “No, that is Black Friday,” I corrected. “Good Friday is the day that Jesus was crucified on the cross, three days before he rose from the grave.”
“Ohhhh!” They shook their heads.
“But …,” I pointed out, “maybe history has it wrong. Maybe Black Friday should be known as Good (Sales) Friday, and, maybe it would be more correct if Good Friday was known as Black Friday, because that is the day Jesus died. But then, three days later, he rose from the dead. It was a new beginning, and so, maybe Good Friday is an appropriate term after all.
Emmy-winning Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” The cross comes before the crown, the Passion before the Ascension, the pain before the gain.
I'm thinking about the passion and death of Christ on this Good Friday. When I pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, I think how the events of the cross relate to my life. Christ was paraded through Jerusalem as the ultimate criminal, though he had done no wrong, completely abandoned and forsaken. How often have you felt like that? He fell three times on the way, but found strength to get back up, for love of us. Our love of others often makes us get back up, too, when we fall. I think of Simon the Cyrene, who didn't know Jesus, but was forced to carry his cross for a ways. I often pray to God to help me see the face of Jesus when I am called, against my will, to help someone in need. I then think of the women weeping to see him in such a state, and Jesus replying, “Weep not for me, but for your children.” I ask Jesus to give strength and guidance to parents these days. It is no easy task.
I think of Jesus coming face to face with his mother and the sorrow Mary endured. And then I think of Veronica, who was said to have wiped the face of Jesus, offering the only consolation he received on the way. This made me think of the little things we can do for others. Just as the face of Christ is believed to have appeared on the cloth that Veronica wiped his face with, may we see the face of Christ in the small acts of love we do for others.
Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at: [email protected]