Lectionary Reflections: Good Friday [c] March 25, 2016

Engaging Faith | Mon, Mar 21, 2016

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Good Friday [c] March 25, 2016


Isaiah 52:13--53:12 

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

John 18:1-19:42



March 24: Anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's Assassination in 1980

March 25: Good Friday

March 25: International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery & Transatlantic Slave Trade

March 26: Holy Saturday

March 27: Easter Sunday 



Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. 

-Pope Francis, March 19, 2013

It is by uniting his own sufferings for the sake of truth and freedom to the sufferings of Christ on the Cross that a human person is able to accomplish the miracle of peace and is in a position to discern the often narrow path between the cowardice which gives in to evil and the violence which, under the illusion of fighting evil, only makes it worse. … A human person is alienated if he refuses to transcend himself and to live the experience of self-giving and of the formation of an authentic human community oriented towards his final destiny, which is God.

-John Paul II, Centesium Annus, 25, 41

We must not believe the Evil One when he tells us that there is nothing we can do in the face of violence, injustice and sin. 

-Pope Francis @Pontifex 24 Mar 2013

The Cross of Christ is not a defeat: the Cross is love and mercy. 

-Pope Francis @Pontifex 3 Apr 2015

There is in our history a barbarous excess of suffering, a violence and destructiveness so intense in quality and extensive in scope that it can only be named genuine evil. … Radical suffering afflicts millions of people the world over in intense and oppressive ways. … A God who is not in some way affected by such pain is not really worthy of human love and praise. … Wisdom participates in the suffering of the world and overcomes, inconceivably, from within through the power of love. … the mystery of God is here in solidarity with those who suffer. … Against the background of the history of human injustice and suffering, the suffering God is the most productive and critical symbol for it cannot be uttered without human beings hearing the challenge to solidarity and hope.

-Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is

We must make haste. Too many people are suffering. While some make progress, others stand still or move backwards; and the gap between them is widening.

-Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 29


Thoughts for Your Consideration

The suffering of Jesus is connected with the suffering of the world and its people – people of all times and places – especially the poor and powerless.

This suffering continues today 

in any situation where people experience injustice

in the violence that continues in the Middle East, Syria, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa

in the ongoing difficulties between people of Palestine and Israel

in the extreme poverty in places like Haiti or nations in Sub-Sahara Africa 

in the more than billion people in the world who go to bed hungry

in the experience of those who are denied human rights or are unjustly imprisoned

in those who have been tortured by our government or other governments

in the lives of all those who experience racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination

in the experience of those who have been abused by others or even by people 

in the church

in the “suffering” of planet earth as it feels the effect of the human abuse of the environment

in the lives of forced migrants (refugees, migrant workers, the undocumented)

in the lives of victims of human trafficking

in the experience of those who have endured sexual abuse, harassment or even rape

in the experience of indigenous peoples at home and abroad

in the experience of anyone who has lost family members in acts of war and violence

in the suffering experienced by individual people and families in abusive relationships

in the experience of those who are sick and cannot afford medical care

in the pain of those who experience homelessness

in the frustration of those who cannot find jobs

in children who are denied an adequate education

in the frustration of those who cannot find work at a just wage or who work for low wages

in the elderly who have been “abandoned”

The list goes on and on.

The events of Good Friday call us not simply into a sorrow about something that happened 2000 years ago, but into a deeper awareness of life today with its struggles and sorrows.  “Christ continues to suffer today.”

Our Good Friday experience calls us into a deeper desire to work for an end to injustice and suffering.  God is in solidarity with us.  We are called to a deep solidarity with our God and a deep solidarity with each other.  In solidarity, Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation.”  Through such solidarity we will experience resurrection.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, SJ, as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

Copyright © 2016, Center of Concern.