Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday Year B

If you are Catholic, at certain point in your life, you would have come across the Rosary. It is undoubtedly a Marian prayer in character... “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you”. But, it is at heart a prayer that is centred on Christ: “And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”.

What is the significance of the Rosary for Good Friday? Nothing much but it has something to do with yesterday’s homily where I preached on beauty. According to John Paul II, his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, he says, "In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love" (RVM, 1).

We begin to see the beauty of Christ at work today as we join Our Lady as she contemplates her Son who for our sins chose to die so that we might have life. As the Rosary leads us through the various stages of Christ’s life, it will also lead us to Calvary where we will encounter the deep meaning of suffering that is salvific.

The beauty of Christ’s strength is in self-sacrifice. By His wounds we are healed. If by His wounds we are healed, then it gives those of us who are suffering some measure of hope. For if we follow Him to Calvary, then all suffering, even though seemingly meaningless, can have meaning. Today Christ invites those who are suffering to come to Him. Those who cannot seem to find meaning in life, those who are hurt in relationships, those who are suffering from terminal illnesses, those who are struggling with a sin which they don’t seem to be able to overcome. He says to us: no suffering is meaningless when you unite what you go through with mine for the good of the world. John Paul II says in Salvifici doloris, (22) “In weakness He manifested His power, and in humiliation He manifested all His messianic greatness”. Christ manifests His Beauty in our suffering and our death, which will one day lead to the resurrection.

We who travel with Him to Calvary will also arrive with Him in the Resurrection. This is the promise of Christ our Saviour, Christ who died for us, Christ who rose for us.