Scripture: 1 Peter 5.8-9
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Reflection: Looking Back at Good Friday
By John Tillman
Much of the conclusion of 1 Peter echoes words Jesus said to Peter in the week of Christ’s Passion or in the days following his resurrection.
“Your enemy the devil…looking for someone to devour,” recalls Jesus in Luke 22, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” And “Be shepherds of God’s flock…” is passing on Christ’s post resurrection reinstatement of Peter in John 21, “Feed my sheep…”
On this the last Friday of the season of Easter we also look back to Passion week and particularly to Good Friday, remembering that the Spirit that was to be poured out on all flesh came to us through sacrifice. We do this anticipating the celebration of Pentecost this coming Sunday, 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.
In his book, Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross, Richard John Neuhaus writes that Good Friday should be relived and reflected on beyond its place in the Christian liturgical year.
Good Friday is not just one day of the year. It is a day relived in every day of the world, and of our lives in the world. In the Christian view of things, all reality turns around the “paschal mystery” of the death and resurrection of Christ.
As Passover marks the liberation from bondage in Egypt, so the paschal mystery marks humanity’s passage from death to life.
Good Friday cannot be confined to Holy Week. It is not simply the dismal but necessary prelude to the joy of Easter, although I’m afraid many Christians think of it that way.
Every day of the year is a good day to think more deeply about Good Friday, for Good Friday is the drama of the love by which our every day is sustained.
One of the blessings of the liturgical year is that we cyclically return, again and again, to the most important foundations of our faith. But at times we can allow the dates on the calendar to be storage boxes holding holiday decorations that we only look at when the box is pulled down from the shelf.
That should not be. Let the messages stay on our walls year round and in our hearts throughout each day.
May the love we were shown on Good Friday be carried by us not just on Fridays, but on everyday.
May we stay alert, for the same adversary stalks us as stalked Peter.
May we accept Christ’s forgiveness, reinstatement, and commission, as did the Apostle, feeding and caring for the shepherdless sheep of our culture.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. — Psalm 85.13
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.