What will this Good Friday be like for Jesus?

holy-face3What will this Good Friday be like for Jesus?

We know that on that first Good Friday, He was mocked, beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, and gave up His Life…after shedding every drop of His Precious Blood for our salvation.

Only a single apostle of the twelve remained with His Mother and the holy women, to witness His agonizing death.

But now, it is 2000 years later.  What will Good Friday be like for Jesus?  Will hundreds of millions of Catholics and other Christians fast and abstain?  Will our churches be crowded to overflowing with loving souls who have come to remember, to express gratitude for His Sacrifice, to receive Him adoringly in Holy Communion?

Was Jesus sustained in His suffering by the awareness that all He did would not be in vain?  When He Who is Love Itself freely handed over His entire Being to the torturers, was He comforted by the anticipation of all the love which would flow back to Him from myriads of souls in the ages to come?

Did He, Who so loved to call Himself the “Son of man,” clasp to His Sacred Heart the Divine dream that all men would accept the Infinite Mercy which flowed from His Wounds?

 What will this Good Friday really be like for Jesus?

On Palm Sunday, our priest told us that extra parking had been arranged with a school down the street for the overflow crowds at the Easter Sunday Masses.  Then he added wistfully, “Please try to attend some of the Easter Triduum services.  The church is always half empty.  Please come…”

Jesus is God.  He knew it would be so….even 2000 years ago.  Even as He suffered as no man has ever suffered, He saw the empty churches, the people celebrating with friends on their “holiday.”  He saw “spring break.”  He saw the indifference, the ingratitude, even the hateful blasphemies.

But He saw you too.  He saw you on your knees, waiting to reverence the wood of the Cross.  He saw you approaching to receive Him in Holy Communion.   You comforted Him.  Your love made all the difference.

And He knows you won’t forget about those who don’t understand yet.  He hasn’t given up on them either.  He won’t force them to accept Him, but He will accept your prayers on their behalf.  In the Divine Economy of Love, He gives us His hands to unbind.  Our love, prayers and sacrifices can merit graces which sweetly and mysteriously move hearts, while free will remains intact.

What will this Good Friday be like for Jesus?

The Savior of the world, burning up with Love, which is constantly rejected and trampled upon, sometimes pierces the veil between Heaven and earth to beg love from his creatures.

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men, but which is loved so little in return.”  He sadly revealed to St. Margaret Mary.

To St. Faustina, He brought extraordinary promises of Divine Mercy to anyone who calls upon Him.  “The flames of Mercy are burning Me….”

The Divine treasuries are empty now, it would seem.   What else do you give, when you have given Your Only Begotten Son, the Beloved Son in Whom You are well pleased?  What else do you do when You have watched Him being tortured to death by creatures who could not draw one breath without You?  What do You do when You have come over and over again to the Saints, begging that they tell the world of Your Love?

What will this Good Friday be like for Jesus?

Let us make it a day of consolation for Him.  Let us join our Blessed Mother at the Cross, and fall on our knees in adoration of her Divine Son.  Let us slake His thirst for Love with grateful remembrance of all that He suffered for our sake.  And let us tell Him what He most longs to hear:  Jesus, I love You!  Let us say it from the depths of our hearts, over and over again.  Jesus, I love You!

And, Jesus gives wondrous gifts to those who come to the Cross!  To His executioners, He gave forgiveness and begged His Father to pardon them.  To the good thief, He promised Paradise.  And to the faithful Apostle John, He entrusted His precious Mother.

He will not forget that we have come.  On our last day, as we lie upon our final cross, He will come to us.  He will hold us close and cover us with Love and Mercy.  He will receive our last breath, our last word of love, and carry us away to His Father’s Kingdom.

What are you (and I) doing this Good Friday?

(First posted March 27, 2013)

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Be with Me…….

 THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN  (Exodus 20:7)

agony

In a way, Lent began for me a day early….on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the Tuesday on which Mardi Gras always falls, but which is also the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.

And I wrote a post about this Feast, which although dedicated to the Holy Face of Our Lord, is more focused on making reparation for the blasphemies committed against the ineffable Name of God.

And sadly, there are so many.  It occurred to me that reverence for His Name is so important to God that He used the second commandment to forbid any profanation of this Holy Name.  The only prohibition placed before this one was the forbidding of the worship of false gods.

This awareness has remained with me in a deep way since that Tuesday before the start of Lent.  How often do we hear God’s Name used in exclamation….and now famously as an abbreviation in text messages, Facebook and e-mails?  Yet, that is only the beginning, for there are so many who deliberately utter the Holy Name of God and the Precious Name of Jesus in blasphemous ways.

How this must pain the Heart of God, Who loves us so much.  So, in a tiny effort to make reparation, I have tried to say often the Name of God and of Jesus, with tenderness and utmost reverence. And when I do, I like to imagine that it is like a little kiss that I place on the cheek of my Father in Heaven.

As always, I wanted this Lent to be perfect.  And as usual, it has been far from that!  I am on my third round of medication for a virus I cannot shake, and the constantly changing weather has set my head to pounding with severe migraines.

So all those extra holy hours I was planning, together with daily Mass and extended prayer time have not yet come to fruition.

But, I have heard a little voice in my heart, and that little voice says:  Be with Me.

I have heard those words before, many times through the years.  Be with Me.  I even have them written across the top of a page in my bible.

This morning, I read the following from the Hymn at Morning Prayer:

Maker of all things, all Thy creatures praise Thee;
Lo, all things serve Thee through Thy whole creation:
Hear us, Almighty, hear us as we raise Thee
Heart’s adoration.

I read them and tears came to my eyes…because they are not true.  We are not all praising God.  In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when God has been so little praised and so very much mocked and blasphemed.

If you have not heard about the most recent Saturday Night Live skit, you may want to Google it.  Suffice it to say that they made a mockery out of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God.  I caught snippets of it on a news show, and most heart breaking of all was the laughter of the audience which could be clearly heard.

Be with Me.

Has Our Lord ever been lonelier?  Is this not the Agony all over again?

I find myself wondering how much longer God will put up with us.  Are we not crucifying Him again?

And so…I cannot keep many promises this Lent.  But I will try to keep these two:  to recall often His Most Holy and Blessed Name with all the praise I can stir in my heart.

And, to not leave Him alone….the One Who pleads:  Be with Me.

Yes, my Jesus, I will be with You.  Call to me, for I am weak and I will forget.  Remind me that nothing I have to do is more important than taking a few moments to comfort You.  Let me spend my Lent….and my life, just being with You in the silence of my poor heart.

(To register a protest against the Saturday Night Live “skit” you can contact them at this address:  For SNL, contact Jennifer Salke: jennifer.salke@nbcuni.com  — contact info provided by The Catholic League)

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Jesus entrusted to Sister Mary of St. Peter an act of praise and reparation which He called The Golden Arrow, saying that those who would recite this prayer would pierce His Heart delightfully, and heal those other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners. It is recommended to be prayed on the 33 beads of the Holy Face Chaplet (or rosary beads may be used.)

MAY THE MOST HOLY, MOST SACRED, MOST ADORABLE, MOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND UNUTTERABLE NAME OF GOD BE ALWAYS PRAISED, BLESSED, LOVED, ADORED AND GLORIFIED, IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, BY ALL THE CREATURES OF GOD, AND BY THE SACRED HEART OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR. AMEN.

Do thou at least console Me…..

The Sacred Heart was represented to me as a resplendent sun, the burning rays of which fell vertically upon my heart, which was inflamed with a fire so fervent that it seemed as if it would reduce me to ashes.

It was at these times especially that my Divine Master taught me what He required of me and disclosed to me the secrets of His loving Heart.  On one occasion, while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, feeling wholly withdrawn within myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers, Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, all resplendent with glory, His Five Wounds shining like so many suns.  Flames issued from every part of His Sacred Humanity, especially from His Adorable Bosom, which resembled an open furnace and disclosed to me His most loving and most amiable Heart, which was the living source of these flames.

It was then that He made known to me the ineffable marvels of His Pure Love, and showed me to what an excess He had loved men, from whom He received only ingratitude and contempt.

I feel this more, He said, than all I suffered during My Passion.  If only they would make Me some return for My Love, I should think but little of all I have done for them and would wish, were it possible, to suffer still more.  But the sole return they make for all My eagerness to do them good is to reject Me and treat Me with coldness.  Do thou at least console Me by supplying for their ingratitude as far as thou art able.

From:  The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary, Tan Publishers, p.70

(Something to ponder….Jesus spoke these words to St. Margaret Mary in the 17th century.  One wonders what He would say in our time…..)

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Please celebrate World Day for Priests today by joining in the “blanket” of rosaries offered for our priests. The link below gives more information, but all you really have to do is offer a rosary for the intentions of World Day for Priests.
http://worldpriestday.publishpath.com/

The one agony you alone can spare Jesus…..

O Jesus, the Blood is pouring from Your Face, cut by the blows of the soldiers!  Your
eyes are swollen and filled with tears… not from physical pain, but from the much greater
agony of seeing Your Love rejected.

Precious Jesus, the thorns are piercing Your head, streams of Blood run down into Your Beautiful Eyes.  Your whole Face is red with Your Precious Blood. You can no longer be recognized. You are truly the Man of Sorrows.

O my God, they have even spit in Your Face! What an abomination!  Yet, You endure it for me.  You endure it so that You will not have to spend eternity without me. You are thinking:  Anything, if only she will love Me. No pain is too great, no humiliation too much, only that she may love Me and be Mine forever. I endure all for Love, for I AM LOVE.
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The above is true, but it does not even begin to approach the reality of the Love Jesus Christ bears for each one of us.  When we contemplate His Passion, and meditate on the humiliation, suffering, torture, rejection, hatred, physical agony and more that He suffered for us, there is one thing that we can spare Him…..not loving Him in return.

Oh, let us love Him, let us love Him and cling to Him this week, so that we will know that 2000 years ago when He went to the Cross for us, He Saw Us Loving Him Now, and that is how the angel comforted Him in Gethsemane, and that is why He found the strength to struggle to His feet again after He had fallen. Your love, my love, our love consoled Him long before we were born, for He saw that we would accept His Mercy and allow Him to wash away our sins in the River of Divine Blood that flowed on that Day.

During this Holy Week, let us implore His Mercy for those who do not know, do not yet love Him.  Through the intercession of our Sweet Mother of Sorrows, may our number multiply, that Jesus, so long ago may see from His Cross, countless souls standing beneath the Blood and Water which flowed from His Side…..

He knew us, even as He was dying for our sins.  He knew that we would claim Him as our Savior and King.  He was consoled by our love.

But how much do we love Him?  It is not too late, even now, to tenderly kiss that disfigured Holy Face…..once betrayed by a kiss.  To kiss with love and tenderness the Face of God.

And as He never forgot Mary anointing Him with fragrant perfume, or Veronica wiping His Face with her veil, neither will He forget you.

We are all in that crowd watching.  What will we do?

How much do we dare to love JESUS?