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The Perspective of Justice
Friday of the Lord’s Passion
(Good Friday)
April 10, 2019
Gerald Darring
“Good” Friday

Why do we call this “Good” Friday? Is it because we celebrate a good event in which all of us, “crushed for our sins,” are redeemed as “Christ became obedient for us even to death?” Is it because of the goodness of the man who “surrendered himself to death” so that we might “receive mercy and favor” and “find help in time of need”? Is it perhaps also because on this day “kings shall stand speechless” as those who are “oppressed and condemned” are liberated, those who are “accustomed to infirmity” are healed, and those who are “spurned and avoided by men” and “forgotten like the unremembered dead” are lovingly in the thoughts of a Christian community which prays that God “may heal the sick, comfort the dying, give safety to travelers, free those unjustly deprived of liberty, and rid the world of falsehood, hunger, and disease”?

Whatever the reason, we consider this day “good” as we celebrate “the triumphant death and resurrection of Christ.” It is good to remember the death, but always in the context of the resurrection. We are a “people who have devoutly recalled the death of your son in the sure hope of the resurrection.”

Our task as venerators of “the wood of the cross” is to overcome evil with good, to turn death into resurrection. We should not cower in the face of the enormous challenges posed by war, poverty, and oppression. The civil rights marchers sang “We shall overcome” in part because they understood the message of “the triumphant death and resurrection of Christ” and in part because they had placed themselves out of their comfort zone, walking the streets in the shadow of the cross.
We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 2013: 48-49.

Gerald Darring
Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at
Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go