Behold the Lamb of God

Behold Him who takes away the sins of the word.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

For Catholics, these are words we know well, having recited them in unison each Sunday. It is, for us, an invitation to receive Communion. But they are not mere words, they express our acknowledgement of two basic truths. First, none of us are worthy of the sacrifice made on that first Good Friday. Second, all things are possible through our Lord, including our salvation and forgiveness of sin no matter how great.

Throughout most of the Christian World, today is recognized as Good Friday. In the Catholic Church, no Mass is said on Good Friday because the Mass itself is a celebration, and today, like Ash Wednesday, is a day of great sadness, fasting and penance. Which begs the question, what is so good about Good Friday? We call it Good Friday because on that day salvation became a reality. I think Billy Graham said it best when he said “We deserved to die for our sins – but Christ died in our place.”

For Catholics, the Church bells are silent and the alters are left bare. Many gather in the churches to pray the Stations of the Cross, while others acknowledge these stations in private reflection. Throughout Lent, Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays. In addition, on Good Friday we also fast. While the fasts of today are not nearly as restrictive as those in the past, it is still a sign of respect, of humility and unity in Christ’s suffering.

While I cannot speak for the Church as a whole, I can share a few things about Good Friday in our home. Both Hubby and I are beyond the age of an obligation to fast. Once upon a time, there were no age requirement nor exceptions. Today fasting for Catholics on a universal observance begins at 14. This means throughout the world (excpet in America), Catholics 14 and older observe a fast on Good Friday. By today’s standards it means the total consumption of food is less than a full meal. You are allowed to eat three meals, provided that the three together are less than one meal any other time. In the United States, the age requirement for fasting begins at 18 and concludes at 59. That said, Hubby and I feel that while fasting might not be an obligation under Cannon Law, it is a part of our observance of penance and sacrifice. We take this one step further in that we do not eat anything until after sundown on Good Friday. Even then, the meal we share does not amount to much. This is a personal choice, not a requirement or obligation. And let’s face it, personal sacrifices carry more weight simply because they come from the heart. Besides, the Church encourages participation in all traditions when health permits. Right now, health permits.

While the Church gives us guidance, only you can decide the type of relationship you are going to have with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We rely on Church teachings, yet each of us are on a personal journey home. To know the path, we must first be willing to shut out the world, to quiet our thoughts, and to listen in silence. God’s voice is found in a whisper, in the soft drops of rain or a gentle breeze or the beauty of a sunrise. Let those moments speak to you. Let those moments humble you.

Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.

Baked Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli
Lemon Aioli
1 Lemon
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or to taste

Zest the lemon, set zest aside for the crab cakes. Cut lemon in half, juice into a small bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise and seasoning. Place aioli in a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Crab Cakes
1 Celery Rib, finely minced
1/4 cup Red Onion, finely minced
1/2 small Orange Bell Pepper, finely minced
3 tablespoons fresh Parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh Basil, minced
1/2 lb Crab Meat
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Old bay Seasoning or to taste
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Parsley for garnish

Finely dice celery, red onion and bell pepper. Place in a bowl and set aside. Snip parsley and basil, set aside. Pick over the crab meat to remove any shells or cartilage. Flake into small pieces, set aside.

In a bowl, whisk mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest and Old Bay Seasoning. Taste and adjust. Fold mayonnaise mixture into the celery bowl. Add parsley, basil and Panko breadcrumbs to create a dressing. Gently fold in the crab meat. Taste mixture and adjust flavors as desired. Cover bowl; let chill for 20 minutes to bind together.

Heat oven to 500-degrees. Spray a small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.

When ready to bake, place 3-inch ring molds on the prepared baking sheet. Divide crab mixture into 6 portions. Fill each ring with a portion of crab. Repeat until all the cakes have been formed.

Place in the oven to bake for 9 minutes. Remove cakes from oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Squirt some of the aioli onto individual plates, smear a bit. Carefully lift crab cakes from the pan with a fish spatula, flip over onto the aioli so that the golden size is up. Give each cake a little more aioli, garnish with parsley and serve.

When served with Rice Pilaf, these simple cakes are the perfect light supper to share on this most Holy of nights.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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