Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
Today is Good Friday, a day when we remember the sacrifice of God's only Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered, was crucified, and died for our salvation.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the greatest mystery of God's infinite love for us. It was not just a mere word, but the sacrifice of his only Son for our salvation. As the Gospel says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
When Jesus Christ was incarnated, the Word of God became flesh, and when He was crucified, it was God's love that took flesh. When we love, we inevitably must make sacrifices, big or small. Without such sacrifices, love remains a mere word or abstract idea. Sometimes it is even harder to sacrifice someone you love more than yourself. This is something that parents understand better than anyone else. And this is precisely what our Heavenly Father did for us.
There is nothing more beautiful and wonderful in life than loving and being loved. When we truly realize that God loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ, we are inspired to love God and our neighbor, and if necessary, to sacrifice ourselves for them.
One of the saints said, “Every time I stand in front of the image of the crucifixion of the Lord, I hear God's loving and sweet voice: 'Behold, I give you my Only Begotten Son, I sacrifice him for your salvation.' And I immediately reflect, 'What am I willing to give in return for that infinite love? What is my answer to that precious sacrifice?”
Friends, God does not expect great deeds and sacrifices from us. He desires and commands that our hearts be filled with love for Him and our neighbor. “Let us love God, because He first loved us,' and 'if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another...if we love one another, God will dwell in us, and His love will be perfected in us” (1 John 4:11-12, 19).