This Friday is made "holy" not by his suffering death on the cross, but by the love "to the end" that led the Son of God to die on the cross. His love is stronger than death, because he is able to embrace death and overcome it with love. This is the only day on which we do not celebrate the Mass: the hands of the High Priest, the Mediator between heaven and earth, are held by nails; he is suspended between heaven and earth, and he cries out in the face of heaven’s opacity and silence, on a land now covered by darkness. The crucified man is the stripped and annihilated God, who has given everything; this is why he is the God for everyone, without distinction, the God even for atheists, or for those who cannot express their faith in any way at all because they also are poor, defenseless victims, held by nails.
Everyone is standing before the cross, then, but all are also on the cross. "Take heart, then—writes Father Tonino Bello—, you who suffer, nailed to a wheelchair. Be courageous, you who feel the pangs of loneliness. Have faith, you who drink the bitter cup of abandonment. Do not curse, sister, you who, day after day, see yourself destroyed by an unrelenting illness. Dry your tears, brother, you who have been stabbed in the back by those you thought were your friends. Do not become discouraged, brother, you who are not taken into account by anyone, who is not believed by people and who, instead of bread, are forced to swallow mouthfuls of bitterness."