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Monday, April 9, 2018

GOOD FRIDAY: WHO ELSE CRUCIFIED JESUS?

Article by DaliusLL

Sandakan: On Good Friday, 30th March 2018, St. Mary’s Cathedral began their event at 9.00am with the devotion of the Way of the Cross in a combined three languages: English, Bahasa and Chinese.  The morning devotion drew some 600 faithful from this parish. The outdoor spiritual walk started from the Cathedral’s entrance all the way to the Diocesan Pastoral Centre. There were 14 images depicting Jesus Christ’s on the day of his crucifixion affixed along the route with accompanying selected prayers as the people move from station to station. The purpose of the stations is to help the faithful to make a personal contemplation of the Passion of Christ and how it relates in our spiritual journey. In following the footsteps of Jesus in the Way of the Cross, one experiences a perpetual day of penance, to obtain graces and grow in holiness.
The Good Friday Service in Bahasa began at 1.30pm, while the English Service began at a later time at 5.00pm in St. Mary’s Cathedral, and as for the Chinese Service, at 3.00pm in St. Joseph Church. Thousands of parishioners came to attend the three services.
As for the English service, His Rev. Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom celebrated the service with a solemn entrance. In his homily, His Lordship posed a question to the faithful on “Who else crucified Jesus in the story of Christ’s passion and death?” He said that as mankind, we are responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion due to our human sinfulness; we crucify our Lord again and again. Let us ask, or examine ourselves sincerely. Perhaps, we are like Pilate who does not want to take responsibility and wanted to wash our hands, or perhaps maybe like the Jews in Jerusalem demanding Jesus’ crucifixion or we are the same people singing Hosanna in welcoming Jesus a week ago or perhaps just like the onlookers allowing things to happen. Whatever the character we relate to in that story, we are crucifying Jesus again and again. 
He stressed by saying that the cross where Jesus died is not only reminding us of our own sinful condition, but also a constant reminder of God’s love despite of Him being crucified every day in our hearts. As we come to venerate the cross today, even if we do not understand much, we feel the beauty and greatness of His love. May we experience the strength of His divine grace; no matter how sinful we are, for it can never change the unfading love of Jesus for us. The concluding service ended by the faithful venerating the crucifix.

Good Friday Service in BM at St Mark's Church, celebrated by Rev. Fr. Christopher on Friday, 30th March 2018
Way of the Cross at St. Mark's Church
"The passion and death of our Lord Jesus are about Him paying for our sins. When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross, we became like Him because He paid all our sins in His crucifixion. Therefore, you are now free! Go!" Fr. Christopher.

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