“Behold, behold, the wood of the cross, on which is hung our salvation. O Come, let us adore.”
These familiar words are often intoned each year at the Good Friday service. On this somber day that we yet call ‘good,” what further words can be said? Perhaps just a few.
Looking at the cross of Christ we can say “Thank You.”
Thank you for being born as a baby, in smallness and vulnerability.
Thank you for growing into a toddler, needing to hold hands to walk.
Thank you for listening to Mary and Joseph, for your presence in the home and in the workshop.
Thank you for your courage, in speaking boldly as a young man.
Thank you for your miracles and your healings, for giving hope and help to the desperate.
Thank you for your focus, in striving to fulfill the will of the father.
Thank you for not wavering in your walk to Jerusalem, despite knowing what it would bring.
Thank you for enduring loneliness and abandonment.
Thank you for your agony.
Thank you for your death.
Thank you for your life.
Most of all, thank you for your invitation.
Thank you for inviting us to see your face in our children.
Thank you for inviting us to be patient as our toddlers grow and grasp, and reach and grab.
Thank you for being present in our homes and in our work.
Thank you for giving your mother to us, and our big family of saints in heaven.
Thank you for the hope and healing you grant us, seen and unseen.
Thank you for your guidance and perseverance with us, and with our families.
Thank you for not leaving us.
Thank you for not forgetting us.
Thank you for loving us.
Are there any more words we can say on this day? Perhaps these two words are appropriate - “I’m sorry.”
I’m sorry when I forgot you.
I’m sorry when I refused your invitation.
I’m sorry when I put myself ahead of my family.
I’m sorry when I didn’t want you in my home or in my work.
I’m sorry when I didn’t speak of you, at the dinner table or the coffee shop.
I’m sorry when I didn’t speak to you, at bedtime or in the car.
I’m sorry when I thought I knew better than you.
I’m sorry when I didn’t see you in others.
I’m sorry for not listening to you.
I’m sorry for not believing in you.
There are two other words that we can say today, on this good day when the Son of God gave his life for us - “I forgive.”
I forgive my spouse.
I forgive my sons.
I forgive my daughters.
I forgive my mother and mother-in-law.
I forgive my father and father-in-law.
I forgive my sisters.
I forgive my brothers.
I forgive my boss.
I forgive my coworkers.
I forgive my neighbors.
I forgive myself.
Thank you. I'm sorry. I forgive. Six small words that we can carry with us through this day, as we journey with the Church to Holy Saturday, on the way to the joy of Easter Sunday.