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On the sacred day that is Good Friday, we listen to the story of the passion of Jesus as told by John the Evangelist. Probably, when you read or listen to this account, you find it to be simply overwhelming. It is almost too much to take in at once. The passion of Jesus is a gripping drama that reaches down inside of us and evokes our deepest and strongest emotions. It almost defies words of commentary or explanation.
Mary, some other women, and the beloved disciple are depicted as standing near the cross.
This is the place where Jesus says, “It is finished.” He has accomplished the mission given him by the Father. This is the place where he bows his head and hands over the spirit, the gift of his Spirit to all those who believe in him. This is the place where a soldier thrusts a lance into his side and blood and water flow out, signifying the new life that comes forth from the crucified Christ. Standing near the cross of Jesus is both a painful and a powerful place to be.
Each of us has stood near the cross at particular moments in our lives. We know this place well. The situation may have involved the serious illness or loss of a family member, grappling with a broken relationship, experiencing a terrible disappointment, facing a disability, or a thousand other things. Whatever the situation, we know that standing near the cross is indeed a painful place to be.
Standing near the cross of Jesus is also, however, a powerful place to be. It is powerful not because God finds any joy in human suffering. It was human beings, not God the Father, who put Jesus on the cross. Christianity is not a cult of suffering. Standing near the cross of Jesus is a powerful place to be because it is the place where the power of God is present and at work – quietly, faithfully, patiently at work from within. At his own moment of death, Jesus held on to the hand of his Abba God, and, even in this hour of darkness, experienced communion with this tenaciously faithful God. And God was present and on the move to bring life out of death. The flow of blood and water from the pierced side of Christ is a sign of that new life that will become manifest in the raising of Jesus from the dead.
For Christians, keeping the memory of Jesus’ death is a living reminder that we are never alone as we stand near the cross in our own lives. While our faith does not magically remove the pain of that place, you and I are assured that Jesus, the crucified Son of God, is in solidarity with us at that place. He is intimately close to us because he has experienced that place in the most personal and intense way possible.
Standing near the cross of Jesus is a painful and a powerful place to be.
As we pray this Good Friday, we are invited to stand there with Jesus and his disciples. And we are called to trust that what is happening there is what happens wherever the God of Jesus Christ is present: God is faithfully present and at work to bring life out of death. We believe that this, in fact, is what God does for a living.
From a Blog by Fr Robin Ryan CP- Catholics on Call
SA Catholic Online, an online Ministry dedicated to providing the resources for the use of the internet for the spread of the Kingdom of God in South Africa, is launching its all new website, which includes a number of great new services in addition to those already on offer. .
One of SA Catholic Online's inspirations is Sr Susan Wolf SND, a US-based Catholic nun whose ministry is helping Catholic parishes and institutions make better use of the internet for communications and evangelisation - a Mission we also subscribe to.
We have taken Sr Susan's slogan:
The internet is a Mission Field - Lets Be There!
The Internet is a Ministry Tool - Let's Use It!
- and added a line of our own:
The Internet is a Faith Resource - Let's Go There!
When you visit the site (www.sacatholiconline.org), you will see that SA Catholic Online has identified a series of the “needs” of various faith communities, and has, uniquely, we believe, set out to meet those needs, and to do so at prices that will be affordable for those communities.
An example of a much-needed service is “SA Catholic Friendships Online” – our new secure and confidential faith-focussed introduction and dating site for Catholic Singles. The development of this service came at the request of a Radio Veritas listener to one of the Frank-ly Catholic Online segments broadcast weekly.
In order to achieve this, SA Catholic Online relies on the funds it generates from supplying these services. However, the biggest challenge is sourcing funds to make those services available to a much wider audience, and for this we depend upon the support of Catholics out there to help us spread the word.
We have therefore conceived of the idea of a Club - a Guild, if you like - in which everyone wins! In return for a small contribution (R100 a year), members receive an array of benefits and services.
Like the guilds of old, the SA Catholic Online Club is founded on the concept of people working together for a common goal. In order to achieve our goals, we would like to bring together individuals, companies and organisations that share our vision of using the internet as a tool for New Evangelisation and faith communication.
We see Club members being comprised primarily of the following groups: 1) people who generously support the ideas and vision of SA Catholic Online through their prayers and their membership, and for whom the benefits of membership are secondary; 2) people who are attracted by those very benefits and wish to access the services the Club has to offer; 3) clergy, religious and lay apostolate who are committed to evangelisation; and 4) businesses that see Catholic Internet as a unifying force and a highly valued link to their customers.
Through their membership, Club members are kept abreast of the latest Catholic developments, internationally and locally, and have access to carefully selected online resources designed to help in bringing a Catholic culture into their homes, family and everyday life. These selections are based on extensive and detailed on-going research.
In the short time that SA Catholic Online has been in existence, it has attracted the attention of a number of faith organisations and individuals, and is building enduring relationships with these entities. These are just a few of them:
SA Catholic Online has also attracted comments from international organisations:
Oh yes - just in case you may have forgotten - you can still win that dream trip to Botswana if you join before the end of March
If you cannot find what you are looking for on this site, use our Catholic Search Engine to find it!
DSTV Audio Channel 870 or
Live on the Internet!