As Easter Approaches, Bishop Zubik Reflects On Good Friday

"I hope people haven’t forgotten what the message of Good Friday is: God’s mercy and God’s forgiveness."

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
April 19, 2019 - 1:29 pm

Peter Macdiarmid / Staff / Getty Images Europe


PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – While some might focus Easter Sunday, Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh remembers when Good Friday was celebrated all over the city.

“I can remember as a kid growing up that the town of Ambridge; every store window had a sign that said ‘Closed 12-3 on Good Friday,’” Zubik told Lynne Hayes-Freeland on KDKA Radio Friday. “I think there has been a symbolic change. We really don’t see that kind of observance in the public square anymore. What concerns me about it is that I hope people haven’t forgotten what the message of Good Friday is: God’s mercy and God’s forgiveness.”

“I say that because when you take a look of the tone and texture of the world in which we live today, sometimes it’s pretty hard to find us being very merciful with each other, or being kind with each other,” Zubik told Lynne. “I think we enter into judgements much more harshly than we did before. For all of us as Christians, and for those people who are not Christians, the story of Jesus is ultimately that when he gave his life and died on the tree of Calvary, he did so to say that all of us have more than one chance in life. However we messed up, we all do things that are wrong, rather than wallow in our own guilt for things that we have done wrong Jesus hung on the cross to say that we can all be saved.”

On Thursday, Zubik visited the Allegheny County Jail where he washed and kissed the feet of some of the inmates. “That was a very powerful act that Jesus did at the Last Supper. Most of the people who reflect on the Last Supper will remember what Jesus did with bread and wine. Within the context of that meal, Jesus got up and washed the feet of all the Apostles. The message that Jesus gave was that everyone was important.”

“One of the things that I tried to do in my homily was to say, how many of us in life have ever had an experience where people will say to us that we don’t matter? The act of washing the feet, on the part of Jesus with the Apostles and my reenacting that yesterday at the prison, was to prove that statement,” Zubik said.

“There was different and something very special about yesterday,” Zubik said. “The spirit that was in that room was just something that you couldn’t describe. You could feel that we were all connected, and that they felt like they mattered.”

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