Today we do not celebrate the Eucharist as it is the day we remember the cross of Christ – his passion and death. There is no place for the resurrection today except in hope. It is good for us to reflect upon life without the resurrection, as it will remind us of the negative power of sin and the horrible consequences that come with it, namely deprivation of the vision of God in eternity.

As we walk with Jesus in his passion today, both in the Stations of the Cross and also in the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of Jesus at 3pm (where there is the opportunity to venerate the Cross), let us pray for the grace of a deeper understanding of sin so that we might more actively against it and temptation when they come into our lives. Yes, today we remember the Passion of Jesus, but we should do more than this, we should do our best to experience the desolation of sin, the consequences of which are eternal death. Today is a day of fasting and abstinence for most Catholics. These are penances designed to help us enter into the spirit of self-denial and penance as an attempt to be with Jesus in his suffering.

Today is the day that makes sense of all human suffering. It is only through the suffering of God, Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, that suffering can be given meaning. Without the salvific power given to suffering through this experience in Jesus’ life and mission, suffering would merely be part of the human lot. Joining our suffering with that of Jesus gives it a salvific character whose power is beyond our imagination Keep this in mind the next time you are suffering and prayerfully offer your sufferings for the sake of someone, the Church or a particular mission of the Church. The offering of our suffering without complaint is one of the most powerful forms of intercession we have at our disposal. Let us not waste any opportunity that comes our way, as the suffering is there anyway; we may as well put it to good use!

Jesus, you suffered and died for our sake. Thank you for this act of generous love. Help me to respond just as generously as you call me to be your disciple.