My brothers and sisters in Christ,1
We have just walked the path of sorrow with Jesus Christ on his last day. We have accompanied him in his suffering. It is a sad and painful journey, but we know that the Cross is the instrument of our salvation.
So when we see Christ carrying his Cross, what do we see? Our Gospel reading today tells us:
So they took Jesus and, carrying the cross himself
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, Golgatha
Jesus carries his cross alone. By himself. So we have to open our hearts to know his sufferings and his sorrow. He carries his cross for us — for you and for me. For us. For our salvation.
The weight of his cross is the weight of our sins. The prophet Isaiah told us that in the first reading:
It was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured.
Jesus carried on his cross all of our weakness and sin, all of the good things that we should have done but did not. My brothers and sisters, when we reflect on that, don’t we think we can do a little better in our lives? The question for us today is once again: he gave his life for us, what can we do for him?
There is no Christianity without the Cross. Jesus said that he is our way. And today we have journeyed with him on his way. And we have seen that it is the Way of the Cross.
Our lives are a journey of faith that we are making with Jesus. We walk together with him. He walks with us. And we can’t make that journey without the Cross.
So we need to carry our own cross, following behind Jesus carrying his Cross. For us, for each one of us, the cross in our lives might be an illness, or a situation we can’t fix, or a person we cannot convert. Whatever it is, we have to embrace our cross, take it up, just as Jesus did and follow in his footsteps.
So on this Good Friday, let us live with the glorious liberty of the children of God.2
By his death, he brings us back to life! His Cross is the throne of grace, as we heard in our second reading today.
So let us go forth today — confident in his grace, trusting in his mercy.
Let’s try to carry our own crosses like Jesus, saying yes to God’s will. Let us live with compassion and the heart of Jesus Christ.
Today, each one of us, all of us, let us tell Jesus that we want to accompany him and walk in his footsteps and help him to redeem the world. We can do that. We can help him just by trying to live holy lives, by trying to build up the Church and her mission, by trying to bring many people to come closer to Jesus Christ that they can find the real meaning of their lives.
So my brothers and sisters, today in our Good Friday liturgy, let us go together with Jesus to the “Place of the Skull.” We also know that the story doesn’t end there. It continues to the empty tomb on Easter morning. So let us continue on our journey from the Cross to the Resurrection. As we accompany Jesus in this beautiful journey, let us also accompany him and Mary, Jesus’s Blessed Mother and our Mother, to celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. So let us continue our journey from the Cross to the Resurrection.
And may the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, accompany us on our journey as she accompanied her Son. And may she give us the courage to carry our cross with him.
1. Readings (Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, Year C): Isa. 52:13-53:12; Ps. 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25; Heb. 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42.
2. Rom. 8:21.