This Friday Makes the Whole World Good
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.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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