GOOD FRIDAY SOLEMN SERVICE
In the Byzantine Rite this week is called ‘The Week of the Bridegroom’. Why? Because today Jesus presents himself as Bridegroom to finish the work He was sent from the Father to do. What is that?
Well, Jesus says it in His last words, ‘It is consummated’. The words we hear are it is finished is translated in Latin as ‘Consummatum Est’. What is consummated but our relationship renewed with God. This was the whole plan of salvation: to bring the pinnacle of creation, man and woman, to Divine relationship with their Creator.
Why is this considered the wedding day. If we know the scriptures we remember the very first book of the Scriptures is about the Garden where a wedding of man and woman is established. Adam and Eve share in a sacrament that is not broken by sin. That is marriage. The last book of the bible is the Book of Revelation which speak completely about the Heavenly Wedding Banquet. The last of the words in this book proclaim ‘the Spirit and the bride say Come Lord Jesus’. Even the very center book of the scriptures, the Song of Songs, proclaim the great love relationship of the bride and the bridegroom. Everything about the scriptures is about our love relationship with God and He with us. Jesus came to restore that relationship again. He does it on the wedding bed of the cross.
Being bridegroom week on Monday we hear in the Gospel of Jesus being anointed with pure nard to prepare Him for his nuptials and death. We are reminded that at the cross are the bride and the son, Mary and John. Mary is addressed only twice as ‘Woman’. Both of them are at weddings: One at Cana, the other on Calvary. At Cana Mary invites Jesus to begin the wedding plans in beginning His ministry. On Calvary Jesus completes the promises in establishing Mary as the mother of us all and we, her sons. Jesus is making us His own. He proclaims it is consummated saying the wedding promises and covenant is completed.
Jesus, upon knowing He has given everything in His death, is pierced by the soldier’s lance through his heart. Out pours water and blood, two very powerful Old Testament symbols of life: Water and Blood. These are the seeds of the Church in which we will be recreated, cleansed, fed, and nourished. Here Heaven’s womb is ruptured pouring forth rivers of grace and sacrament. It is here to Calvary we must come the know the spousal joy of love.
Calvary is the place of the most terrifying and horrible hatred ever seen. It is also the place of the most wondrous love ever seen. We Cry Hail to Jesus as our King and Bridegroom one moment and all cry Crucify Him in the same breath.
In a treatesies I read Jesus himself speaking to a visionary saying:
‘At the words of Pilate, all became silent-in Heaven, on earth, and in hell! I heard as one voice all creation cry ‘Crucify Him. We want him dead at any cost! I heard God the Father, I heard my mother, I heard the angels and the Saints cry “Crucify Him, crucify Him. There was not one soul who wanted me alive. I felt two currents flow in my heart. One, the souls who, if they want me dead was that they wanted to find life in me as so are released from eternal condemnation. There were those who want me dead out of hatred and sadly to their own condemnation. In this my heart is lacerated knowing that my death would not save them.’
So we come before Jesus giving him thanks for offering us such great love. We come as the bride awaiting the bridegroom to complete his act of love: for us, with us, and within us to bring us back to the Father and one day to the Eternal Nuptials in Heaven.
Thank you Jesus.