The Passion of Our Lord: Brilliant Light in the Firmament of Holy Church

We can truly say that we are living at a peak in history in which, more than ever, the thirst of the Redeemer intensifies, while souls are torn between good and evil.

Newsroom (15/04/2022 14:00, Gaudium Press) Some objects have that special quality about them: they carry within them the power of a beautiful and longed-for past, like the most cherished of family heirlooms. For us Brazilians, so great is the predilection of this Land of the Holy Cross, that God has molded in its firmament a symbol that not only revives its great past, but, above all, points to a glorious and triumphant future: the Holy Cross!

But – incredible as it may seem – there is a firmament which even surpasses ours in beauty and splendour: not from the stars does this brilliance shine, but from the liturgical feasts of the Church! Like magnificent constellations, they too follow a cycle – not of the solar year, but of the liturgical year – in which one gives way to another, and we are carried along to relive the present feast.

Contemplating this luminous firmament today, on Good Friday, we can discern a serious, glittering and majestic Cross: the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“I thirst”

Today is the only day of the year when there is no Mass, for the Church is in holy mourning for the death of Our Lord. However, a solemn ceremony is held in which the so sublime Gospel of the Passion is sung or proclaimed.

Let us analyse just one aspect of this liturgical action: among the “Seven Words of Christ“, there is one that seems to resonate especially with the Church in our day: “Thirst” (Jn 18:28).

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We are therefore living in a period of history in which the thirst of the Redeemer intensifies, while souls are pulled between good and evil.

Seeing so many abandon Him at this important moment, Our Lord cries out again from the heights of the Sacred Wood: “I thirst”. This is the cry of definition par excellence, for at that moment Jesus could have asked forgiveness of men for the “exaggerations” of the doctrine He had preached. But no, He reaffirms His position and asks only one thing: to quench His thirst.

But in the end, what does Our Lord thirst for? He thirsts for souls, He thirsts for conversion! And we have the power to quench this thirst. When will we do it? When will we define ourselves as entirely in favour of what is good?

History repeats itself

Added gravely to this suffering of Our Lord, the Church also thirsts, since she relives the Passion of Christ, in view of the attempts of many to disfigure her sacred face. On our part, as faithful Catholics, we must look behind this “disfiguring” and see what she always was, is and will be: holy, immaculate and indefectible.

History does indeed repeat itself, for in the Passion of Holy Church there is no lack of good men who sleep, nor of “Judas”; it is not difficult to find the Pharisees and the hateful teachers of the law, and even easier to find the lukewarm “Pilate” who washes his hands while the Church, thirsty, is crucified.

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In this grandiose picture, which role will we choose? This is the invitation that is extended to us on this Good Friday of 2022.

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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