Christ died for us - most Christians have no problem knowing that part of Christianity. When Christ died, He did so in a most gruesome and horrific manner. God could have chosen another manner of death. He did not. He chose, instead, to have Christ die between two common thieves. To write that the death that Jesus suffered was painful is an understatement. No words that any author can write can adequately reveal to mankind the price that Christ paid for my sins.
Christ was sinless - I am not. I disappoint Him time and time again - indeed, I disappoint myself time and time again. I am encouraged that when Christ fell under the weight of the cross, that He did not just stop and quit. No, He got up, not once, not twice but three times and picked up His cross and carried on, up the hill, up to where He knew He faced certain death.
Standing in line, praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, I also asked God to reveal the sins that I needed to confess this Good Friday.
In the eyes of the world, getting ready for Easter means buying a new outfit, buying candy, inviting friends and relatives over for Easter dinner, which almost always includes ham and asparagus, not to mention chocolate...but in the eyes of Christ, the new outfits have nothing to do with the Resurrection. The dinner, although it is important to feed ourselves, is not what Easter is all about.
Easter is about a NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. A new life in which I want to please Him who opened the gates of heaven for me. In order to put on that new life, I needed to get cleaned up and absolved from the sins that I carried. Christ gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can repent and ask for His forgiveness.
Standing in line with 60 other penitents in front of me and at least 60 others behind me was a beautiful way to spend Good Friday. In a way, all of us who were there were united with Christ at this moment of His Death. We walked with Him, we fell with Him, we suffered with Him. We died with Him in the Sacrament of Baptism and now, we joined Him as we followed His Walk towards resurrection.
What mercy God has given us in the sacraments. What love He gives us. How blessed we are to keep silent and walk with Him on the saddest day of Christ's life here on earth.
I confessed my sins after standing in line for two hours, my confession was short, sweet and to the point - after all, Christ does not ask us for a psychological evaluation, He simply tells us to make a good examination of conscience, confess our sins, repent and be about the business of our salvation. Nor does Christ ask for us to give any excuses for our behavior - simply state the facts, ma'am or sir. The priest, having been in the confessional by this time for three and a half hours, was exhausted - but he too, carried on. He too, was in his own way; walking the Passion of Christ. I was absolved from my sins and tomorrow morning, when I go to the Easter Mass, I will be ready, not with a new dress, but with a New Life within me to receive our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the most Holy Eucharist.
I am in awe of Him who created me, loves and delights in me, and who gave His Life so that I may live in eternity with Him. I pray that one day, all my readers will come to know Christ, too.
May you all have a blessed and joyous Easter!