Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us that unless there is a Good Friday in our lives there will never be an Easter Sunday.
Without suffering, without death (self-denial is in view here, too), we personally cannot experience Christ’s resurrection life. Why? It’s simply this: the route to the empty tomb of Jesus runs directly through the loneliness, sorrow, and agony of Calvary. If we want to share in the joy of his Resurrection, then we must have the intimate experience of sharing his Cross.
The problem is suffering and death frighten us. Our lives are spent running away from these. And yet, Jesus in his death and resurrection invites us to embrace them directly. Not as ends in themselves, but as the divinely chosen means to a deeper union with him.
Practically speaking, this means being generous when we don’t feel like it, denying ourselves when we really want our own way, loving the person who’s hard to love, having patience when we’re frustrated. All of this is the challenging stuff of Good Friday. But remember in God’s economy, Good Friday always leads to Easter Sunday. Be encouraged that when you truly follow Jesus, the path always leads to the empty tomb.
Written by Deacon Jason Stewart, Theology Teacher