Our reflection for Good Friday is written by Masy Razafindradama from the Centre Social Arrupe in Madagascar.
On Good Friday, we reach the culmination of our progress towards Easter. After a long journey of 40 days of fasting, abstinence and prayer, we witness the passion of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. As Isaiah writes: “Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases”… and “was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Despite our feelings of desolation each time we live the passion of Christ, He calls us not to remain in the shadows of suffering but to hope in the light that will vanquish our sins, as Isaiah underlines once again: “Upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.”
In fact, Jesus our Lord want us to join together with Him in our suffering. This is a message of hope especially for those of us who are victims of stigma and self-stigma linked to HIV and AIDS. Jesus calls us to have faith and to live positively with all people of goodwill and love who are devoted to this ministry.
Further, Jesus invites us all to learn to discern His presence in our struggles. He is at the side of those who suffer, to all those who respond to His appeal, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) The nature of our struggles does not matter; Jesus invites us to open our heart and to welcome Him in our sufferings so that we may find consolation in Him.
Jesus Himself found this consolation after enduring unthinkable suffering. “It is accomplished!” This is the sentence He uttered just before dying on the cross. He had accomplished His mission: that of carrying our suffering and our burdens so that we may be freed from our pain and our sins. His mission: to be the Saviour of mankind, symbol of light in which we all hope, as the Psalm of the day says: “Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love! Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”
It is up to us to allow the mission of God, our Saviour, to be accomplished in us, to have trust in Him in our trials, our sufferings, our struggles, and our sorrows. Light can only be seen when there is darkness, just as healing cannot take place except when there is sickness. For “all to be accomplished”, we accept our sufferings and bear witness to compassion and justice towards our brothers and sisters who suffer, who are oppressed and marginalised. As St Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “He learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
To read this article in French, please go here: « Tout est accompli »