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OFFICE FOR THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

WAY OF THE CROSS
AT THE COLOSSEUM

LED BY THE HOLY FATHER
BENEDICT XVI

GOOD FRIDAY 2009


MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS BY

The Most Reverend
THOMAS MENAMPARAMPIL, S.D.B.
Archbishop of Guwahati (India)

INTRODUCTION

The Holy Father:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

 

MEDITATION

My dear brothers and sisters, we come to sing together a “hymn of hope”. We want to tell ourselves that all is not lost in hard times. When bad news comes, one bit after another, we grow anxious. When misfortune hits us close to home, we grow disheartened. When we fall direct victims of a disaster, our self-confidence is totally shaken and our faith is put to the test. But all is not lost yet. Like Job we search for meaning.[1]

In this effort we have a model. Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping.[2] Indeed, in testing times we see no reason for believing and hoping. And yet we believe. And yet we hope. This can happen in our personal lives. It happens in the wider society.

We ask ourselves with the Psalmist: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God.”[3] We renew and strengthen our faith, and continue to trust in the Lord. For he saves those who have lost all hope.[4] And this hope does not ultimately disappoint us.[5]

It is truly in Christ that we understand the full meaning of suffering. During this meditation, while we watch with anguish the painful side of Jesus’ suffering, we shall also give attention to its redemptive value. It was God’s plan that the “Messiah had to suffer”,[6] and that these sufferings should be for us.[7] An awareness of this fills us with living hope.[8] It is this hope that keeps us joyful and patient in our troubles.[9]

A journey of faith and hope is a long spiritual journey, as we ponder the deeper design of God in the cosmic processes and the events of human history. For, below the surface of cataclysmic calamities, wars, revolutions and conflicts of every kind, there is a quiet presence, there is purposeful divine action. God stays hidden in the world, in society, in the universe. Science and technology reveal the marvels of his greatness and love: “There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”[10] God breathes hope.

God reveals his plans through his “word”, showing how he draws good out of evil both from the little events in our personal lives and the great happenings of human history. His “word” makes known the “rich and glorious” plan of God, which says that he frees us from our sins and that Christ is in you.[11]

May this message of hope echo from the Hoang-Ho to Colorado, from the Himalayas to the Alps and the Andes, from the Mississipi to the Brahmaputra. It says: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” [12]

 

PRAYER

 

The Holy Father:

Let us pray.

A moment of silence follows

All-powerful God,
by the suffering and death of your Son,
strengthen and protect us in our weakness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.



[1] Cf. Job 1:13-2:10.

[2] Rom 4:18.

[3] Ps 42:6.

[4] Cf. Ps 34:19.

[5] Cf. Rom 5:5.

[6] Acts 3:18; 26:23.

[7] Cf. 1 Pet 2:21.

[8] Cf. 1 Pet 1:3.

[9] Cf. Rom 12:12.

[10] Ps 19:3.

[11] Col 1:27.

[12] Ps 31:25.

Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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