Q: Why is it called Good Friday when it was such a bad day for Jesus?

This is a very good question. Who wants to suffer in this life? The answer is in the question. Jesus took on all of the bad things in our world, all our sins, to the cross and died for us that we may live. Jesus died so that you and I may have eternal life. That very Friday of Jesus’ suffering and death becomes a very Good Friday for us because our Hero saves the world. This also is why we hold Good Friday so close to our hearts and we observe this day with solemn (very special) devotion by going to church and praying together, and with fasting and abstaining from meat and snacks. This is the least we can do for the One who saved humanity.

Q: What is it like in heaven?

This a perfect question for a perfect subject. Heaven is spending all eternity with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Harps and clouds need not be included. When we are in heaven we are perfectly happy, for there is no greater joy than to spend forever with the One who created us and loves us more dearly than anyone else. You see, we have been created to love and to know God. While on earth we try our best to love and know God, in heaven we will do both perfectly. Recall how in the Lord’s Prayer we say “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” That means we do not sit around and wait for heaven to come to us. We, as brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church have told God that we will try to be very good, like the saints before us, and, therefore, will help bring heaven to earth.

Q: Is that hat you wear one of those Jewish hats?

A: This could be a trick question, even though I believe you are speaking of the zucchetto (scull cap) which looks like a Jewish yarmulke. While the two do look alike, it is unclear if they are related other than in style. The zucchetto in earlier times kept the heads warm for churchmen becausethey had the top of their head shaved as a sign of their offering their entire life to God and his church. As a successor of the Apostles, ordained to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the people of God, I wear the magenta or violet colored zucchetto as formal attire. That means you may see mewith the zucchetto in church and at some church functions, but not in the hardware store, at the supermarket, nor while bike riding (I have a special helmet for that).

I alluded that this could be a trick question because the word miter (our British and other English-speaking friends spell it mitre) has roots in early Jewish history. Shortly after the Hebrew people fled Egypt through the Red Sea, Moses’ brother Aaron was given a miter for sacred celebrationsdistinguishing himself as a priest. In the Catholic Church, it’s probably been a little more than 1,000 years that bishops have worn miters distinguishing themselves as successors of the Apostles. Research is rather sketchy for one to determine whether or not it was normative for bishops to wear miters in the first thousand years of the church’s history.

May you and your families have a
blessed Lent, as we approach Holy Week
and the celebration of our salvation given
us by Jesus Christ, the savior of the world.