From: Mary Zimmerman
Good Friday. Yes indeed, it is good, because God loved us so much as to die upon a cross to make reparation for the fall of Adam and Eve - thus original sin. However, there is a tinge of sadness connected to Good Friday as well. I’m quite sure you all feel it. Jesus, the Son of God, dying in such a cruel manner for love of all of us, usually brings me to tears as I contemplate it all. Yesterday was no exception. As the gospel was being read, the readers emphasizing “crucify Him, crucify Him,” sadly I heard my voice join in, and His crown of thorns, carrying the heavy cross and pounding the nails that hung Him to it. Yes, I realized I was a part of it all. Were you? We should all be shedding many tears of remorse over that, knowing we share in the death of Jesus. Then everyone went up to venerate the cross. I spent a little extra time doing so, telling Jesus it was from all my family who weren’t there for one reason or another. Then came the joy of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. Jesus made all those arrangements on Holy Thursday - the Last Supper with His Apostles, the first people appointed in carrying out His work on earth, to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood. Just how special is that?
Easter Sunday I arose quite early with these words dancing around in my head, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” In my imagination I went to the tomb where Jesus was laid and found it empty.
Jesus has risen, alleluia. Then I spent some time in prayer, thanking God for all His graces and blessings and stretching my trust to the very heart of Jesus for all my requests He hears and will answer. “Jesus I trust in you.”
Now it was time to get dressed for church - I’d already decided it would be the same outfit as Christmas. I’m pretty much a plain Jane so it takes me only a short time to get ready.
We arrive at Mass - wow, what a celebration - Jesus conquers death, alleluia, alleluia. We heard that many times throughout the Mass. It just brings our lives into perspective. We seemingly die as Jesus did but He resurrected from the grave and desires that we know we will too. Death closes one door but opens up a new life. There is nothing more important than living a life united to Christ and then someday again be reunited to Him forever in the joys of heaven.
Surely God is never outdone in generosity. We acknowledge that we need to share our resources with the poor. “I was hungry and you gave me food.” What consoling words these will be for us in our anxious moments as God passes out our report cards, so to speak, giving us our final grades of living in the world. “A” of course would mean heaven and “F” would not be good at all. Everything in between would mean purgatory (a layover). We must take this most seriously. Live, laugh and love as to win this race of life.
Our daily newspaper would want us to believe attending church isn’t very popular anymore. I’d have to challenge that after seeing St. Mary’s packed for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. (The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus have a place in those holidays but we need to remember never before God.) I want to add, St. Mary’s has had many new people joining the church this past year. I’d say as Catholics we’re alive and growing.
Now that Lent is over let us try to maintain some of those good habits we formed - prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Then let us continue to sing alleluia, alleluia (praise be to God). Peace be with you.