Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/10/2009 (7 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This Cross of Our Savior frees us from the power of sin, transforms death into a friend and incorporates us into the communion of Trinitarian love which begins in our life in the Church.

We are human ‘becomings’ now, called to be conformed to Jesus Christ,refashioned into the Image and Likeness of the New Adam, the firstborn of the new creation.

We are human ‘becomings’ now, called to be conformed to Jesus Christ,refashioned into the Image and Likeness of the New Adam, the firstborn of the new creation.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/10/2009 (7 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter


CHESAPEAKE (Catholic Online) - In one of his encounters with the Pharisees we read these words of Jesus, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (Mark 10:18) At first they may seem enigmatic, yet upon prayerful reflection they provide a framework for scratching the surface of the mystery which the whole world pauses to recall on Good Friday.

In Jesus Christ we see the human face of God, "Good" Incarnate revealed in the purity of a love which no man or woman could ever see until His Incarnation. In His great voluntary gift of Himself which culminates in his ascent of the New Altar of the New Covenant, the Second Tree of the New Creation, the Cross/Throne of the King of Kings, we encounter Good. We behold the Beauty of Divine Love given for the whole world.

There is a paragraph in the Second Vatican Councils' document on the Church (GS 22) which opens the mystery and meaning of the Saving Incarnation, Life, Suffering, Death and bodily Resurrection of this God made man, Jesus Christ. It can draw us to our knees in worship and motivate us in our effort to respond to our Baptismal vocation. Today we see Love lifted up from the earth drawing all men and women, fulfilling His promise (John 12:32). In His dying we find the power to live. We find our life's meaning and mission, to continue His redemptive mission. On that great Day we will be raised bodily and dwell forever in a new heaven and new earth. This paragraph was a favorite of the late Servant of God John Paul II:

"The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. ...He Who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15),(21) is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward."

These great three days, the "Triduum", are one saving, liberating, healing and transformational event. In His loving sacrificial death which completed His loving sacrificial life we see what Good really means as Jesus shows us the Father. We also find ourselves capacitated by grace to become "good" ourselves, 'through Him, with Him and in Him by the unity of the Holy Spirit' as the words of our Canon proclaim at every Holy Mass.

The paragraph continues: "As an innocent lamb He merited for us life by the free shedding of His own blood. In Him God reconciled us to Himself and among ourselves; from bondage to the devil and sin He delivered us, so that each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God "loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20). By suffering for us He not only provided us with an example for our imitation, He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning."

Because of our misuse of free choice, which is a part of the the Image of God imprinted within us, we earned the "wages of sin" (Romans 6:23). By choosing against the invitation to eternal communion with God we lost our way. As a consequence death came into the world. Death is separation from God. The "law of sin and death" was unleashed, impeding our capacity to choose rightly and fracturing our freedom. In the Cross we are given the splint for the fracture. In the crimson flow of Blood from the side of the Son of God we find the healing remedy for all of our wounds. In His Saving Death we are freed to live under a new law, the law of the "Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus". (Romans 8)

The paragraph continues: "The Christian man, conformed to the likeness of that Son Who is the firstborn of many brothers, received "the first-fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23) by which he becomes capable of discharging the new law of love. Through this Spirit, who is "the pledge of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of "the redemption of the body" (Rom. 8:23): "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the death dwells in you, then he who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also bring to life your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11). Pressing upon the Christian to be sure, are the need and the duty to battle against evil through manifold tribulations and even to suffer death. But, linked with the paschal mystery and patterned on the dying Christ, he will hasten forward to resurrection in the strength which comes from hope."

Our life in heaven begins on earth. The two, heaven and earth,once separated by sin, have been joined by the Bridge of the Cross. As we live our lives in the Church we find the graces we need to walk along its saving path. We are human 'becomings' now, called to be conformed to Jesus Christ,refashioned into the Image and Likeness of the New Adam, the firstborn of the new creation. The Spirit which raised Him from the dead is at work within us. As we join ourselves more fully with him by embracing the life of grace offered through the Church and mediated by the Sacraments we can be transformed.

As the Apostle Peter told the early Christians "His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power" (2 Peter 1:3). We imitate Him in battling the evil one and resisting temptation. We embrace tribulations and join them to His Cross, making them occasions for grace. If we die in Him - daily and at the end of our temporal life - we will find that death no longer has any power over us. In the words of the ancient hymn, "He trampled on death by Death". Rather than a stone meant to confine us it becomes a door to our eternal communion with the Father.

"All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery. Such is the mystery of man, and it is a great one, as seen by believers in the light of Christian revelation. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful. Apart from His Gospel, they overwhelm us. Christ has risen, destroying death by His death; He has lavished life upon us so that, as sons in the Son, we can cry out in the Spirit; Abba, Father."

What we commemorate on Good Friday is the greatest gift ever given, the gift of Jesus Christ in whom as the apostle Paul says "all the promises of the God find their Yes" (2 Cor. 1:20). We behold His Divine and Human "Yes" in those arms stretched out to embrace the whole world. This Cross frees us from the power of sin, transforms death into a friend and incorporates us into the communion of Trinitarian love which begins in the Church. In the words of the Council Fathers the Church is the "seed and the beginning" of the Kingdom. We are invited to live in the Church and change the world, spreading the seeds of the Kingdom everywhere.

This is the Friday that makes the whole world Good.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Lent / Easter

Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday? Watch

Image of Pentecost is widely considered the birthday of the Catholic Church.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. ... continue reading


8 thought-provoking Easter quotes to inspire Watch

Image of Easter is more than eggs and bunnies.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading


'The Easter message of the risen Christ': Listen to Pope Francis' Easter Mass Watch

Image of Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Mass and focused on Christ and refugees (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading


Missing The Point of Easter Watch

Image of Alex Basile [not pictured] is the Religion Department chair at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. He has written nine books for Saint Pauls/Alba House. www.alexbasile.net

By Alex Basile

Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading


He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear Watch

Image of The Tomb is empty!

By Fr. James Farfaglia

With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading


HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead' Watch

Image of God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear

By Fr. Randy Sly

Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading


Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross Watch

Image of Benedict says,

By Michael Terheyden

Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading


Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading


All Lent / Easter News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6
1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, distant peoples. ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15
1 [For the choirmaster Of David Psalm] Yahweh, you examine me and know ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:57-66, 80
57 The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a ... Read More

Reading 2, Acts 13:22-26
22 he deposed him and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 24th, 2016 Image

St. John the Baptist
June 24: John the Baptist was a contemporary of Christ who ... Read More