One of the things our family does to commemorate this solemn day is to attend the Good Friday service at our parish.
We also plan to pray the Divine Mercy Novena which begins today and continues until Easter Saturday.
Since 2006, another tradition we have had as a family is to watch The Passion of the Christ. Mel Gibson’s direction is extraordinary. The movie’s realism is difficult to watch, especially the scourging, which is gruesome and prolonged. However, I don’t usually watch that particular scene because of the sheer brutality of it.
Jim Caviezel’s portrayal of Jesus is incredibly believable. I always enjoy the flashback scenes of Jesus with His mother. The scene in which He embraces His cross is one that made me gasp the first time I saw it.
Jesus suffered a brutal death for mankind. The knowledge that He suffered and died (and would have done so for me alone) gives me the strength and courage I need to strive for holiness.
Every human being living on this earth will die someday. By His death and resurrection, Jesus won for us the gift of eternal life in heaven. Embracing this gift means living a life of sacrifice, selflessness and virtue.
This day is meaningful to me for another reason. Thirty-three years ago, my father died an unexpected death. Sudden death can shock any family. I was only 18, but my dad’s death made me think deeply about the meaning of life and about the “other side.” For the first time in my young life, my faith gave me tremendous consolation.
My prayer is that all Christians will take time today to reflect on the great gift God gave us, the gift of His Son, and the sacrifice He won for us, eternal life in heaven.
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach