St. Stephens Daily Lenten Reflections - Good Friday
Greater love hath no man…
Or as a different translation puts it:
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
” (John 15:13)
These words of Christ come to mind as I reflect on today’s readings and particularly, the Passion Narrative. What an immense and unfathomable sign of love is on display today as the Church relives the drama of Jesus’ passion and death. Yes, this act of selfless love occurred two-thousand years ago, but its effects were—
—so powerful that their efficacy continues to this very day and will continue to extend well into the future.
While this has not been a normal Lenten season by any means, it is the love of Christ from this sacrifice on the Cross that has comforted us and has carried us this far through our current crisis and it will continue to carry us through the pandemic’s end. To keep this gift of love as a mere comfort to ourselves is not enough. It must be a model for us to live and witness that Jesus’ self-sacrificing action still has an effect today. Without putting into practice Jesus’ example, we keep the effects of Christ’s death in the past.
This pandemic though it has taken away from us many things (and people) we have cherished or taken for granted, it has brought out the best in humanity and has shown that Christ and His love
alive in the world. For instance, parents and educators providing our young people with continued care, intellectual advancement, and some sense of normalcy is a true labour of love imitating Jesus’ selfless love. All workers at farms, supermarkets, stores, and pharmacies who selflessly continue to provide the essential services and items we need to survive during these days of isolation are demonstrating Christ’s gift of love to us in their everyday actions. Postal workers, truck drivers, transport & delivery personnel, and goodhearted volunteers who carry goods to their destinations and to us while we must remain indoors lovingly go out of their way for us in Christlike solidarity. And, of course, all the medical professionals, hospital staff, EMTs, and countless others who during this time most perfectly exemplify Christ’s loving example by literally laying down their lives for the good and betterment of those entrusted to their care. Their sacrifice, I think we all agree, will be remembered by all for many years to come.
So for this Good Friday, let us rejoice because Jesus’ great sacrifice of love two thousand years ago is very much alive today! Let us rejoice because so many people in the midst of this overbearing darkness continue to emulate Christ and allow His love to shine through. Let us rejoice because so many of us have this unique opportunity to walk Jesus’ Way of the Cross so closely—for by doing so, we will truly realise the victory won for us and joyfully spread its Good News on Easter Sunday.
May your love continue to prevail in the world. May it inspire good and selfless deeds, strengthen the weary, comfort the lonely, heal the sick, console the mourning, and raise the dead to new life in you.
Anthony Marcella is the Music Director at St. Stephen’s Parish since January 2019. Never did he imagine a Lenten season and Holy Week quite like this one, but he is truly blessed to have the opportunity to continuously serve the St. Stephen’s community through our new live-streaming equipment.
on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 6:30AM