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Good Friday, 9 April 2004


1. Venit hora! The hour had arrived! The hour of the Son of man.

We are making the Way of the Cross in front of the Roman Colosseum, as we do every year, taking part in that hour in which was accomplished the work of the Redemption.

Venit hora crucis! "His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father" (Jn 13: 1). It was the hour of the excruciating suffering of the Son of God; a suffering that, 20 centuries later, still leaves us deeply stirred and calls us into question. The Son of God has arrived at this hour (cf. Jn 12: 27), precisely to give up his life for the benefit of his brothers and sisters. It is the hour of the offering, the hour of the revelation of infinite love.

2. Venit hora gloriae! "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified" (Jn 12: 23). This is the hour when we, the men and women of every epoch, received the gift of love that is stronger than death. We stand beneath the Cross to which the Son of God is nailed, so that with the power which the Father gave him over every human being, he may give eternal life to all who have been entrusted to him (cf. Jn 17: 2).

Is it not right, therefore, to glorify in this hour God the Father, "who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all" (Rom 8: 32)?

Is it not time to glorify the Son who "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2: 8)?

How can we not glorify the Spirit of the One who raised Christ from the dead and now dwells in us to give life also to our mortal bodies (cf. Rom 8: 11)?

3. This hour of the Son of man that we relive on Good Friday stays with us in our minds and hearts as the hour of love and glory.

May the mystery of the Way of the Cross of the Son of God be an inexhaustible source of hope for everyone. May it also comfort and strengthen us when our own hour arrives.

Venit hora redemptionis. Glorificemus Redemptorem! Amen.


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