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Church of the Home for Good Friday 2023


Central to our solemn celebration today is the sign of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice – the cross. Today we recall the events of Jesus’ passion and death. Our Lord is mocked and ridiculed by the guards. His clothes are ripped from his body. He walks the long, strenuous journey to Calvary. And, ultimately, he is nailed to the cross.


But today is not a day for sadness or despair. We call today ‘Good’ Friday because, by his death, Jesus frees us from sin and death. The cross is the perfect expression of God’s love for us. God’s only begotten Son sacrifices his life on the cross, so that we may not only die with him, but also one day rise to new life.


In addition to today's liturgy at 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM, celebrate Good Friday through these actions within your Church of the Home:

  • Prepare a crucifix from your home and place it in a central place. Offer a prayer of veneration as you pass it throughout the day.

  • Take time to pray the Stations of the Cross as a Church of the Home or observe silence from 12 to 3 p.m., the hours when Jesus is believed to have hung on the cross.

  • Today is a special day of fasting. Avoid eating meat or snacking between meals. Use this opportunity to explain to children the value of uniting these little sacrifices with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

  • Reflect:

    • Jesus says, “If anyone wants to be my disciples, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). How can you deny yourself today? What are some of the crosses in your life that you carry?

    • Why is today called Good Friday?

    • What does St. Paul mean when he says,”I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us” (Romans 8:18)? Do you consider your sufferings as nothing compared to the glory that awaits you?

 

Join us for Good Friday Service in person at 1:00 PM or online at www.gbres.org/live, our YouTube channel, or our Facebook page.


Resurrection will also offer an abbreviated service at 7:00 PM for those unable to attend this afternoon.


Readings for Today's Service

 

Virtual Triduum Retreats

Resurrection Catholic Parish Presents Day 2 of the 2023 Virtual Triduum Retreat. Reflect with Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson on Good Friday.

 

Reflect on the Seven Last Words of Christ

Christ said very little when he was betrayed. He did not attempt to defend himself, but “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).

With so little said, Christ’s last seven words hold weight. A Jesuit priest in the 17th century is said to have started this devotion and it has become a well-loved tradition since. We contemplate not on a single word but these last seven statements said. Today, set some time aside to meditate on his precious words as written by Shemaiah Gonzalez of Catholic News Service.


“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).


The soldiers who led Christ to the cross cast lots for his clothes, an unseemly “bonus” for their work. Even in the midst of his own suffering, Christ offered prayers for his tormentors, aware they were unknowingly fulfilling Scripture (Ps 22:18-19). Christ offers forgiveness even in his own pain.


Open our hearts to offer forgiveness when we are wronged.

  • Who do I find it impossible to forgive?

  • How can I overcome this feeling?


“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43).

Two criminals are crucified on either side of Christ. One hurls insults at Christ but the other recognizes him for who he is. “Remember me” he calls out. Christ reassures the believer that he will be with him in paradise. Again, Christ offers forgiveness and compassion.


Teach us to comfort those around us.

  • Who is someone who is lonely and hurting that I can comfort this week? How can I do it?

“Woman, behold, your son. … Behold, your mother”

(Jn 19:26-27).

Christ sees his mother, Mary, at the foot of the cross. He presents John the beloved disciple as her son, and to John, Mary as his mother. By this time, Mary was most likely a widow. Christ, as Mary’s firstborn son, was legally responsible for providing food and shelter for her. His death would have left her vulnerable, financially and emotionally. Some of Christ’s last words are to care for his mother.


Move us to compassion to see the needs of others.

  • What is something kind I can do for my mother this week?

  • What are ways that I make my family members proud of me?

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

(Mt 27:46 and Mk 15:34).

The weight of the sin of the world has been placed on Christ and in this moment, he is completely abandoned by God, the Father. Sin separates us from the holy. Christ experienced that for us. The intimate relationship with God the Father he had his entire life was lost. The words used to convey the devastation of this abandonment is another fulfilment of Scripture in the language from Psalm 22.


Enlighten our hearts to the intimate relationship you desire for us.

  • What is the greatest obstacle to my faith? Write a prayer that asks God for help with this challenge.


“I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

These words of Christ remind us that not only was he fully God, which he showed by his ultimate forgiveness, but he was also fully man. Someone soaks a sponge in cheap wine and offers it to Christ on a hyssop stalk. Even though he had been battered, a crown of thorns pressed into his skull, nails hammered into his hands and feet, this is the only time he vocalizes his physical suffering. We will never know the pain he experienced on the cross, but we have experienced thirst. His words ground us in his human experience.


May we thirst for your living water.

  • What is something right that I thirst for?

  • How can I avoid thirsting for what is wrong?

“It is finished” (Jn 19:30).

Christ isn’t just saying his suffering is nearly over, death is upon him, but that his mission is complete. He had completed what he came to do, to lay down his own life, a ransom for the sins of all humanity so that we would no longer be separated from God. His words are one of ultimate surrender.


Reveal what I need to surrender to you.

  • What are major commitments I have made for my life? How can I better follow through on those commitments?


“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”

(Lk 23:46).

The curtain in the Temple dividing the holy place and the holy of holies has been torn in half. That which kept us from God has been destroyed. Christ had been obedient to the Father, even till the end. Christ’s words clearly convey that this act was one of his own free will.


May obedience to you be our greatest desire.

  • What is the hardest thing in my life to let go of?

  • What are other things that keep me from following the Lord?

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