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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, Good Friday

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

Good FridayI once taught a class of sixth graders about how Jesus saves us from sin through His death and resurrection. A boy asked, “If Jesus was God, why did He have to die?” I was stumped, so like any good teacher, I asked my own question, “Well, what do you think?”

There was a pause for a few moments until a girl offered, “I think Jesus had to die because He was just like us.” I think she touched on the essence of what we celebrate today, “Good” Friday.

We believe that Jesus is a unique figure in salvation history. As the Son of God, He is both fully human and fully divine. As God, He did not have to die. But as a human being, to really claim to be one of us, Jesus had to participate in the one thing that unites us: death.

Jesus chose fully to enter our human condition by choosing to die. We do not have such a choice!

But Jesus had a choice, and He chose to enter into death and to really, truly become one of us. With that total gift of Himself, He opened for us the possibility of sharing in His divinity. If that’s not Good News, I don’t know what is!

Rev. Edmund Faliskie, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.