As Matt Maher says here in this video, it is a GOOD thing calling today "Good" Friday. I originally thought, how could anyone surmise that the Passion (the suffering of Jesus Christ) and His death is a day to call "Good". maybe Bad Friday, but Good? But, as Matt reflects, it is truly a Good Friday, as He died for our sins so that we may live.
Today, at Mass after a long and reflective Gospel reading we got to see good. We got to see God. God on a cross, crucified. Myself and all that filled the Church today at 3pm had an intimate encounter with Jesus, as we humbly bent down to kiss his face or foot. No, not as idol worship, though some may misunderstand or misinterpret that action. The cross is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus, of his death and resurrection which was the ultimate gift of love to all creation. The cross is therefore a reminder, to the faithful, of all that God has done for all of us. I brought Kleenex along, because I know that I am going to cry. First, I cried when at the beginning of the service, Father Chris prostrated himself on the floor in front of the altar. Such a form of humility, servant hood and love for Christ. Such a great tradition that lends example, and a role model of true devotion to us all sitting in the pews. Then the tears flowed again, as I solemnly went up to kiss the cross. My son, who altar serves held the crucifix, as I made my way to the altar. I know he held that cross with love. I marveled at this young mans maturity and knowing who God is, and it touched my heart deeply. As I felt that special bond between mother and son, I thought of Mary. How must have Mary felt kissing the feet of her dying son, as he was hanging on that cross? Her love so immense for her son and Lord!
Good Friday is the first full day of the Triduum (Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday follow) and it is a day of meditation, mourning and fasting, and is when Christians remember the Passion and his crucifixion. As a sign of grieving and to show the somber nature of the day, no Mass is held on Good Friday and all candles, flowers, icons etc are removed from churches or covered up.
Every Mass we have an intimate encounter with Christ. When we kneel at Mass for the consecration of the Host/bread (the Eucharist), we are kneeling at Calvary. We partake in consuming His body and blood. I look to the crucifix on the wall and marvel at the gift He gave us. You can't put God in a box. Look at how He changed the water to wine at the Wedding of Cana. He can therefore, change wine into His blood. He multiplied the loaves of bread. Well, He can also make the bread into His body. Look to John 6 and read about the Mass as it happened for the first time at the Last Supper (which was the focal point of Holy Thursday along with the washing of feet).
Some non-Catholics will raise the objection that Catholics believe that Christ is crucified and dies again at every Mass; thus, they will say that we believe that the one sacrifice of Christ was not efficacious, that it was not sufficient. WE DO NOT BELIEVE that Christ is crucified and dies at every Mass; rather, we believe that it is the unbloody, re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. The one sacrifice of Jesus Christ was sufficient, and we as Roman Catholics believe this. However, the infinite merits of the Redemption which Christ won for us must still be applied; and this is what occurs in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It was a Good Friday...as I look to the time. It is now the start of Holy Saturday/Easter Saturday. I better get to bed. GOOD night:).