Triduum Sacrum: Good Friday

Triduum Sacrum: Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12; Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1 – 19:42

I miss my mother the most
when I remember it is the time I usually called her each day
or have good news to tell.
Then I realize there is no one home anymore to call.
The house is empty of life.

Loss and grief are experienced by each of us in many ways.
Ways that are personal to us.

Grief is the one emotion we all share as humans
maybe more than hope or joy or laughter.



At the heart of Good Friday is the image of the pietà.  A mother holding her dead son.


The 19th century French artist William – Adolphe Bouguereau
portrayed the first father, Adam, holding his dead son.
Bouguereau reminds us that fathers also grieve,
a hidden grief that adds weightiness to their personal, quiet burden.

Parents right now are holding their dead children
in Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen,
in hospital rooms, in refugee camps, in city streets,
on the borders of our country, in abandoned buildings, in gated communities.

Parents hold their dead children
because of war and famine,
drug addiction and school shootings,
murder and incurable diseases,
pranks gone awry and suicide,
gang violence and neglect.

Parents grieve.
Children grieve for parents.
Siblings grieve for their sisters and brothers.
Spouses grieve for the person they made love to.
Many people grieve silently and alone
distanced from family and friends due to work or other responsibilities.

The sense of loss begins when we are two
and realize we are no longer the center of our parents full attention.

We grieve the loss of our innocence,
…of unfulfilled hopes and dreams,
…of our life’s choices, some of which were rashly made,
We grieve friendships and family relationships that have died.
From what?  …we may never know.
We grieve the loss of our old neighborhood when we move away,
…our high school building or old workplace when razed for a parking lot.

Whether we are aware or not, we are always grieving a loss.


Today with a mother…
we grieve the death of a brother,
we grieve for the death of God…

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