Emmanuel Friday: God-With-Us Even Unto Death

Emmanuel Friday: God-With-Us Even Unto Death April 2, 2021

Holy Week. The violet of Lent, the red of Palm Sunday and Good Friday, the gold of Holy Thursday.
Graphic by Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord


John 18:1 to 19:42


Elsewhere in his Gospel, Christ describes himself as the Man who is the King of Glory, King of Angels and King of All Nations.

On Palm Sunday, we saw him enter Jerusalem the city of God, with the crowds acclaiming Christ as messiah, king and savior.

On Easter Sunday, the Resurrection, Christ risen from the dead re-enters Jerusalem as the forever-invincible King of Life.

But today we commemorate his suffering, death, and burial.

We believe in him: King of Glory, King of Angels, King of All Nations, Anointed One, Savior, Risen and Invincible King of Life.

Eternal, Almighty God came to earth to be a man of flesh and blood, to live as a member of the human race, to suffer because we suffer, to die because we die.

His complete solidarity with us in life and death is a great sign of his goodness.

There is more.

Though entirely innocent, he chose to shoulder the responsibility for all human sin from the first to the last.

Sin— the primordial cause of all that is broken or evil in the universe!

The paradox is that God should not have to shoulder that responsibility.

The paradox is also that God alone could shoulder by choice such a responsibility.

Shouldering the responsibility for all human sin from the first to the last, and shouldering all that is broken and evil in the universe, Christ made all of it die in his own death.

His death wiped clean the slate of sin-laden human history so there could be a new beginning.

There is more.

He rose from the dead.

He— God— rose from the dead still a man—but unimaginably different and unimaginably new.

He rose from the dead still in solidarity with the human race, but having carried the human race through sin and death, having carried the human race in himself beyond into a new life and into holiness.

By coming into the human race, dying as the human race, and rising in the name of the human race, Christ gives us power and possibility for life without end and joy without limit.

It is a test for our faith that we may not see the victorious end of our destiny until the fulfillment of the world.

Yet we believe it.

Though Christ shouldered all our responsibility, he does not leave us without responsibility.

In answer to his goodness, we are to follow him.

As he took on all our suffering, we must answer by carrying all who suffer.

In his Gospel, Christ expects us to answer his goodness by our doing good to all who suffer.

Come, you who are blessed by my Father.

Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me,

ill and you cared for me,

in prison and you visited me.

Amen, I say to you,

whatever you did

for one of these least brothers of mine,

you did for me. [Mt. 25]

It is not enough for us to have faith in the goodness of the Lord.

He holds us accountable for giving an answer to his goodness by being good ourselves to others.

In the goodness of his Eucharist, he tells us to do the same.

Do this in memory of me.


Turn. Love. Repeat.


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