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Good Friday Reflection | Fr. Jason Laguerta

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

We are now on Good Friday. Biyernes Santo, patay ang Diyos. God is dead. We killed him. We executed him. He who has loved us, we killed him. We cannot sanitize Good Friday. We cannot take away the horror of Good Friday. It was not our best day, for us humanity. It was a shameful day for all of us.


“Crucifixion” by Evgraf Semenovich Sorokin (1873)


So good Friday, what does it tell us? Pope Benedict wrote something so beautiful about Good Friday. He said, “If there's anything we can say to describe Good Friday, it is this: Love till the end. It is not just ordinary love. It is love till the end.” The theme we have chosen for this Holy Week, as given to us by the Holy Father, is let us not grow tired of doing good. That's the challenge of Good Friday this year. Let us not grow tired of loving and we must love till the end. We must love until the cross, unto death. This is the promise of love of husbands and wives, “Grant us O Lord to be one heart and one soul from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health until death do us part.” That's what they say in marriage and that's also what the Lord has done this Good Friday. Till the end, till death, he will be love.


This Good Friday, it would be a good matter for meditation this statement from Pope Benedict XI, “How do we love till the end? How can we love until there is nothing more we can give? How can we love when everything is asked of us? Not just a portion or a part of us, but the whole of us?” That's the kind of loving that Jesus showed on Good Friday. He loved wholeheartedly and he loved all and everyone. Nagmahal ng buo at ganap, at minahal ang lahat. Pinag-alayan ng buhay ang lahat.


The call for us is to not grow tired of loving till the end. It is so easy to give up on love. It is so easy to give up on kindness. It is so easy to give up on doing good. It is easy to give up on forgiveness and compassion, it is easy to give up, period. When things become rough and hard and difficult, we can just say, “I give up.” When problems become so enormous, we can just give up. When people are too difficult to handle and relate with, we can just say I give up. We can give up, but giving up is different from giving away. When we give away ourselves, our love, we continue the motion, the process, the journey of loving. We continue to start a cycle of love and compassion. When we give up, we put a finality to life, we put the finality to relationships, we put a finality to us. But when we give away, when we love till the end, we do not give up on anyone or anything.

There is no finality if there is love. I have experienced that with the death of my father last year. Death, for many of us, is the final word. Death for many of us is final. Somehow, death defeats everything. Death inflicts so much pain that you can't recover. Many of us are not able to recover because of the death of people that we love. So death for us is something so painful and something we would like to avoid as much as possible. If only we could avoid death, we would. But that's because we think death is final, but when we give away love, when we give away our life, when we lay down our life freely for our friends, as the Lord says, “No greater love than for one to lay down his life for his friends,” it is not giving up on life. It is giving away life so that life begets life.


With the death of my father last year, I thought it's the end. Nothing more, nothing beyond that. Death, period. That's it, final. But death may end alive. But it does not and will never end a loving relationship. And that is what Jesus is trying to tell us this Good Friday. If you love till the end, nothing can stop us. Nothing can stop love because love continues. Death may end a life, but it does not end a relationship. It does not end love because love continues, because we know that God is love. In our world today so many things are finishing and ending. Maraming nagtatapos. Maraming natatapos. But loving till the end is just the start and the beginning of a new dimension of loving in eternity. So in our celebration of Good Friday, yes, death is painful. It ends a life, but it will never end love. Love till the end means there's no end to love.


Good Friday tells us very very clearly: in love, there is no death because in love, there is always life, and life continues, and life gives us a new sense of hope. Good Friday is sad. We killed God, but his love did not end his relationship with us. His love continues to grow in us. Let us not grow tired of loving. Let us love till the end.

Transcribed by Kovie Kraft


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