Friday, April 10, 2009

Why do Catholics call Good Friday “good”?

Good Friday is the day we remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. We call it “good” because our salvation is tied directly to the resurrection of Christ (celebrated on Easter Sunday) and resurrection is impossible without death.

Yes, the suffering and death of Jesus is unspeakably horrible, movies like The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson bring home the suffering with brutal clarity. Yet what would be even worse, for us, is if the Passion of Christ had never happened and for the gates of heaven to remain closed.

Good Friday is “good” because God sacrificed his son, provided the sacrificial lamb as Abraham foretold in the beginning of the Bible (Gen 22:8) for our salvation. It is good because we have a good God who loves us enough to give more than he requires.

This day is not a celebration, however. Good Friday is the only day each year that Mass is not celebrated. It is somber and is the climax of the Lenten theme of repentance and acknowledgement of our sins.

On Good Friday we descend into the tomb with Christ. Repent and hold fast until the light of the world rises again!

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