Good Friday, 2020

"Christ at Snow" Edward Okun, 1929

The Holy Father's Stations of the Cross weren't at the Colosseum this year, but "spatially distant" from St. Peter's. Ordinarily the meditations for the stations are composed by some particular person. This year they are individual reflections from people associated with Padua prison -- including 5 inmates, victims, a priest who was accused and later acquitted.  Each was invited to reflect on a station in his own life. They are so moving! 

Fr. Cantalamessa's homily for the Pope's Good Friday service is not to be missed. 

What is the surest proof that the drink someone offers you is not poisoned? It is if that person drinks from the same cup before you do. This is what God has done: on the cross he drank, in front of the whole world, the cup of pain down to its dregs. This is how he showed us it is not poisoned, but that there is a pearl at the bottom of it.And not only the pain of those who have faith, but of every human pain. He died for all human beings: “And when I am lifted up from the earth,” he said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). 
And later: 
we need to be careful not to be deceived. God is not the one who hurled the brush at the sparkling fresco of our technological society. God is our ally, not the ally of the virus! He himself says in the Bible, “I have . . . plans for your welfare and not for woe” (Jer 29:11). If these scourges were punishments of God, it would not be explained why they strike equally good and bad, and why the poor usually bear the worst consequences of them. Are they more sinners than others?The one who cried one day for Lazarus' death cries today for the scourge that has fallen on humanity. Yes, God "suffers", like every father and every mother. When we will find out this one day, we will be ashamed of all the accusations we made against him in life. God participates in our pain to overcome it. "Being supremely good - wrote St. Augustine - God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil.”[4]