‘Good Friday is explained by Holy Thursday, the hour of darkness by the hour of the Son of Man. Nevertheless there remains this disconcerting fact that the prince of darkness has had his hour; his pride perished with his conquest, and yet the Son of Man had to be delivered to him. It is the “scandal of the cross”, “the folly of the cross”, as St Paul does not hesitate to say: a scandal and a folly in which the generosity of God’s love, revealed at the Last Supper, appears to have no limit except that of having none. If this truth, once penetrated, becomes eminently comforting, it is at this the most disturbing of mysteries: nothing else than the “problem of evil” sounded to the depth, and not thereby solved.
…Christ’s sorrow is first the sorrow of God, touched to the quick by that hostility His people, without even realising it, generated in sinning against Him. Will not this enmity reject His love the instant that He comes in person to repair for sinners the wrong they have done to Him? The sorrow of Christ is at the same time the sorrow of man, becoming conscious of the impassable abyss that sin has hollowed between him and his God. Having come as far as he can on the bloody way back to God, he is only made aware of his infinite remoteness from the One whom he was attempting to reach. This sorrow of man in Jesus Christ is still, however, the sorrow God, since in Him God made Himself man; so that his double sorrow appears, in the last analysis, as one single agony of the Man-God. In His divine incarnate Person, the unifying plenitude of divine love assumes the pain of separation which sin had imposed upon man. In the horrific torture of the cross to which the Saviour chose to submit, we can see an image of that division that the Man-God felt as none of us would be capable of feeling, between His divinity and the humanity which that divinity had accepted; between God’s love and man’s sin. Who will ever describe this interior cross of the God made man, who feels Himself, as God, abandoned by men, and, as man, abandoned by God?’
from The Paschal Mystery: Meditations on the Last Three Days of Holy Week
by Fr Louis Bouyer, Cong. Orat., 1913-2004
Fr Lee Kenyon