Good Friday - 29 March

29th March 2024
"A single tear shed at the remembrance of the Passion of Jesus is worth more than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or a year of fasting on bread and water." - St Augustine of Hippo
Sacred Heart Parish Inverell invites everyone to join in observing this important day by attending the following:
10.00am - Stations of the Cross
3.00pm - Commemoration of the Lord's Passion
Our priest will be available to hear confessions from 11am to 12 Noon and from 4pm to 5pm.
Why is Good Friday called “Good”?
Good Friday is good because on that day Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Triune God, showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing through the shedding of His precious blood on the Cross.
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise You, for by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
A reflection on today by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"The greatest crisis in the history of the world was the arrest and conviction of a Man found guilty of no other charge than an excess of love. What was tragic about that crisis reaching from a garden to a Cross was: man failed!
"Peter, James, and John, who had been given the flashing light of the Transfiguration to prepare them for the dark night of Olives, slept as His enemies attached. Judas, who had heard the divine admonition to lay up treasures in Heaven, peddled his Master for thirty pieces of silver – for Divinity is always sold out of all proportion to due worth.
"Peter who had been made the rock and key bearer, warmed himself by a fire and with an atavistic throwback to his fisherman days, cursed and swore to a maidservant that he knew not the man.
"As Pilate submitted to the crowd the choice of Christ or a revolutionary upstart, the mob chose Barabbas. Finally, on Calvary where were the men? Where were those whom He cured? Peter was not there, nor his brother Andrew, nor James, nor any of the other Apostles except John, who might not have been there had it not been for the encouragement given him by Mary.
"But though men failed in this crisis, there is no instance of a single woman failing. In the four trials, the voice heard in His defence was that of a woman, Claudia Procul, the wife of Pontius Pilate, warning her husband not to do anything unjust to that just man. Events proved that the politician was wrong and the woman right.
"On the way to Calvary it is the woman who offers consolation: first, Veronica wiping away the blood and sweat from His Sacred Face to receive the reward of its imprint on her towel; then the holy women to whom the Prisoner turned, suggesting that only such multiplied mercies and charities as their own could avert catastrophe for their children.
"Again on Calvary, it is woman who is fearless, for there are several of them at the foot of the Cross. Magdalen, among them as usual, is prostrate. But there is one whose courage and devotion was so remarkable that the evangelist who was there indicated the detail that she was ‘standing.’ That woman was the Mother of the Man on the central Cross.
"When we realise that He Who is pinioned to that Cross is the Son of God and therefore possessed of infinite wisdom and power, we are at first inclined to wonder why she should not have been spared the sorrow of Golgotha.
"Since He had made her of incomparable beauty of body and soul, why should He not keep those eyes made for paradise from gazing on a Cross? Why not shield ears attuned to the Divine Word from the blasphemies of ungrateful humans? Since preserved from original sin, why should its penalties be visited upon her? Must mothers go to gallows with their sons? Must the innocent eat the bitter fruit planted by the sinful?
"These are questions of false human wisdom, but God’s ways are not our ways. Our Blessed Lord willed her presence there. Since He was the second Adam undoing the sin of the first, Mary would be the new Eve proclaiming the glory of womanhood in the new race of the redeemed.
"The woman Eve would not be so cured that her most glorious daughter could not undo her evil. As a woman had shared in the fall of man, so woman should share in his redemption. In no better way could Our Lord reveal woman’s role in the new order than by giving John, that disciple whom He loved above the others, to His Mother, whom He loved above all: ‘Son! Behold thy Mother … Woman! Behold thy son!’
"The kingdom of God was born! Heavenly prudence had chosen the right means to reveal the new ties born of redemption. Mary was to be our Mother, and we her children.
"The Saviour’s death was at the same time a birth; the end of a chapter of crucifixion was the beginning of the chapter of a new creation.
"As light is instantaneous in dispelling darkness, so the Divine Saviour wills that not even a moment shall intervene between breaking down the attachments to Satan by sin and the incorporation of man into the kingdom of God. Mary exchanges her Son for the advantages of the Passion and receives its first fruit – John. Jesus had kept His word: ‘I will not leave you orphans’ (John 14:18)."
(The Cries of Jesus from the Cross)
Good Friday Prayer
My Most Glorious and Suffering Lord, it is Your Hour. It is the Hour by which You conquered sin and death. It is the Hour for which You came into this world, taking on flesh so as to offer Your precious life for the salvation of the world. May I be with You, dear Lord, in these moments of suffering and death.
May I, like Your Blessed Mother Mary, Your beloved disciple John, and the penitent sinner Mary Magdalene, stand at the foot of the Cross, gazing upon the perfect Gift of Love. My suffering Lord, may I see in Your Cross the most perfect act ever known in this world. May I see Love in its most pure form. May my eyes and soul look beyond the blood and pain and see Your Divine Heart, pouring forth Mercy upon me and upon the whole world.
Today I kneel in silent adoration of You, my God. I sit quietly, beholding the great mystery of our faith. I behold God, beaten, bruised, mocked, tortured and killed. But in this act, I see all grace and Mercy flowing from Your wounded Heart. Bathe the world in Your Mercy, dear Lord. Cover us with Your grace and draw us to new life through Your death. I love You, dear Lord. I love You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen. 🙏💐💖
Rules of Fasting and Abstinence
Fasting is required on Good Friday by Catholics aged 18-59 years (the sick and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are excused). Fasting is one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed one full meal.
Abstinence is required on Good Friday by all Catholics over the age of 14 years. Abstaining from eating meat is to be particularly observed. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl.
Artwork: Mary at the Foot of the Cross in the Cathedral of St Paul (Diocese unknown, artist unknown) sourced from