The silent aftermath of Saturday ushers in the resurrection. It is a day of great anticipation because we know the final outcome. The disciples only knew what faced them at that moment. They were running, hiding, weeping, and trying to grapple with their emotions while also searching their minds for any clues from the words Jesus had spoken to them about His death. He did share with them what would happen; yet, just like us today, they questioned because the reality of the consequences and catastrophic events overtook their minds and their faith.
We know God and His promises, and we, too, struggle with our faith when all seems hopeless or intolerable.
My husband and I attended a service on Good Friday at The Cathedral in Richmond, VA. When I met Parish at VCU, we sometimes attended Mass at The Cathedral as a couple. The service was “The Stations of the Cross.” The priest guided us through the stations of the Cross with readings and prayer. After the service, we went back and walked the stations and took the time to meditate and examine the works of art at each station.
Unbeknownst to me was our common spiritual awakening of station 12–Jesus Dies on the Cross. When we began to walk the stations as a couple, Parish shared his heart with me. Jesus, fully God and fully man, within the questions posed by Jesus in the reading. Jesus was fully God on the cross, and within Him was the beginning, the present, and what is to come. All things finished and completed in His death and resurrection.
Jesus dies on the Cross
Pr: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
All: Because by your holy Cross, You have redeemed
Pr: It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the curtain of the temple was torn in the middle. Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, “It is finished. Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.”
Then, bowing his head, he died. (Lk. 23, 44 to 46; Jn. 19, 30b)
(KNEEL AND PAUSE)
All: My people, what have I done to you? / or in what have I offended you? / Answer me. / What more should I have done and did not do? / I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me. / I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance. / I gave you a royal scepter, and you have given me a crown of thorns.
With great power, I lifted you up, and you have hung me upon a cross. / My people, what have I done to you, or in what have I offended you? /Answer me. (from the Reproaches of Good Friday)
All: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. / Thy kingdom come, / Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. / Give us this day our daily bread, / and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. / And lead us not into temptation, / but deliver us from evil.
Stunned and stricken, Mary, Mother In your arms was placed our Brother.
“Full of grace” now filled with grief.
The bolded section touched our hearts and minds. We thought of all that God has done for us, and without hesitation, He gave us His life so that we would be free.
If you research Reproaches of Good Friday, you will find the complete works of this poetry or writing. I also found a chant and musical version.
We woke up this morning, both dreaming and visualizing the 12th station. We talked about its meaning to us spiritually and historically. In conclusion, how would we answer Thee, Oh God?! How have you offended me? You, God, have loved us with an everlasting love. We praise you! We worship you! How beautiful to recite The Lord’s Prayer following the reproaches. Station 11, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross, provided the scripture verses of Jesus crying out to God, “Why have you forsaken me.” Jesus was fully God and fully man. We draw strength from the verses knowing His love wins in our most profound anguish and doubt.
Lord and Savior, You have told us that we, too, must accept crucifixion if we are to accept resurrection with You. Help us to rejoice in the sufferings that come with the fulfillment of our daily duties, seeing in them the royal road of the cross to the resurrection. (The Way of the Cross)