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Friday, March 29, 2002

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Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Psalm 31
John 18:1—19:42

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the kiss

Jesus "bowed His head, and delivered over His spirit." —John 19:30

Today the Church invites us to kiss a crucifix at one of the points where Jesus' wounds are depicted. This can be a hostile gesture, as when Judas kissed Jesus (see Mt 26:49), or this kiss can be a formality, meaning nothing good. Alternately, this kissing of the crucifix can be an expression of total love and abandonment to God's will.

Your kiss will mean something, even if it means "nothing." Look at Jesus (see Jn 19:5). He suffered agony, brutality, crucifixion, and death for love of each of us personally. If you had been the only one in the world, Jesus would have died just for you. "It was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured" (Is 53:4). "He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we were healed" (Is 53:5). "Greater love than this no man has" (Jn 15:13, our transl).

How will you respond to His divine, crucified love for you? What will your kiss of the crucifix mean? Love our crucified God with crucified love.

Prayer:  Jesus "I have been crucified" with You, "and the life I live now is not my own"; You are "living in me" (Gal 2:19-20).

Promise:  "Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:8-9

Praise:  (None)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001