Good Friday – The Lord’s Passion
April 2, 2021
The 7 Last Words of Jesus
Good Friday is always special and unique in my heart. In Vietnam, we observe Good Friday very closely and seriously. I personally mourned in front of the crucifix in white robe and headband like I cried and mourned for my deceased loved ones. I would like to invite you to choose one of the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross and meditate on.
1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. Forgiveness is the act of love. Love without forgiveness is only fantasy and illutional. Forgiveness truly comes from one who loves God and others so much that they can forget about his/her own self. Without sincere forgiveness, the world continuously and viciously lives in division, violence, suffering, hopelessness and death. We are called to forgive always. Who should you forgive now to breathe freely?
2. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43. Paradise is unity. Unity with God is paradise. Jesus wants to be with us always. It’s up to each one of us to desire to unite with God or not. When we live in sinfulness, we are living in hell. The moment we surrender and conform our will to the Will of God, we live in true paradise. God wants us to be with God today and forever. God is gracious and merciful always. Do you want to live in paradise with God?
3. “Woman, behold your son. Son Behold your mother.” John 19:26–27. Relationship is not just important but also necessary and essential for Jesus. We only can live a meaningful life when we live in healthy and generous relationships. Children-parents relationships are sacred for God. We all have parents and families. Do not disown your loved ones. Embrace them and keep them close to your heart when you can. Strong and healthy relationships will assure us for salvation. How is your relationship with your mother/father or children?
4. “My God, My God, have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34. Feelings of loneliness, abandonment and suffering are so real. It is ok to cry out for help and clarification in our prayerful lives. Jesus cried out to his God because he loved God so much. Some of us endure in sickness, homebound and dying. If you are with those who are living in the time of sickness and dying, do not stop them to cry out to God. Be present and be attentive with them like Mother Mary stood on the foot of the cross with her son Jesus. Will you verbally cry out for help when you have a difficult time?
5. “I thirst.” John 19:28. If you and I listen well, we still hear “I thirst” today. Jesus thirsts for our love and mercy. Poor children living in immigration and refugee camps are crying out “I thirst”. People living in domestic violence, addiction and PTSD are waiting for a moment of change. People living in ignorance, corruption and sinfulness deeply desire for a moment of conversion and redemption of God. What do you ‘thirst’?
6. “It is finished.” John 19:29-30. Jesus naturally died on the cross after his body endured so much pain and affliction. Many people, including the young, do not want to continue their lives anymore because of the intensity of suffering and hopelessness. Today we need to honor those who finished their sacred vocation and mission in life for the sake of their families, country and God. May they truly live in peace and joy of God. Do you love your life?
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46. Everyone must die. Hopefully, everyone also knows and believes where they are going to after they die. Jesus went to his Father. He lived and died for his Father. He will return to God. May we learn to entrust ourselves into God’s hands in order to live fully and peacefully every day. Are you willing to let go of your life?
Good Friday service at 3pm.
Sorry for a long message today! Ft