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Friday, March 25, 2005

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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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how good friday can be good

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

Because of selfishness, we human beings naturally tend to have lukewarm relationships, even our relationship with God. The Lord hates this. He shockingly states: "I know you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were one or the other — hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of My mouth!" (Rv 3:15-16) The Lord pictures Himself as vomiting to make His point about His despising lukewarmness.

Because of a fallen human nature, human beings naturally and frequently deceive themselves. The Lord makes clear: "More deceitful than all else is the human heart, who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9, our transl) We tend to deceive ourselves about our lukewarmness.

This combination of lukewarmness and self-deception is so dangerous as to be damning. God became a human being, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and gave His disciples a new nature to save us from being doomed in our old, selfish nature of lukewarmness and self-deception.

Today, on this Good Friday, on the threshold of renewing our baptismal promises, let us beg the Lord to break through our self-deception about our lukewarmness in our relationships with Him. Let us weep for our sins as Peter did (Lk 22:62). Let us come out of fearful hiding as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did (Jn 19:38-39). Let us love Jesus in truth and totality.

Prayer:  Jesus, I am all Yours. I will live and die for You alone.

Promise:  "He surrendered Himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses." —Is 53:12

Praise:  (none)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004