In the first chapter of Genesis, we read that, on the sixth day, God made man, made us in His own image, made us male and female, and, after making us, blessed us. Ever since, the sixth day has been a special spiritual day in the life of humanity. In Christian circles on the sixth day there are First Friday Devotions and Good Fridays that call us to take a long and loving look at our creation and human state. This religious perspective stands both in contrast to and in union with our society where Friday is viewed as a day of hopeful anticipation.
I once presided over the funeral Mass of a vivacious and positive lady who lived life fully each day to the end. Her children enthusiastically described her to me through various stories and recollections. They finally agreed on their summary statement: “She lived life like it was always Friday!” I, too, would like to live life like it’s always Friday. There are lots of songs and poems written about Friday. There are many restaurants that slip it into their title because it attracts. It marks the end of the work week or school week, and it is synonymous with happiness, relief, and celebration. For high school footballers, it is gameday under Friday Night Lights and for those who spend weekends at the lake, it signifies parties, possibilities, and peace, staying up late and putting aside all cares. When we live life like it’s Friday, we are joyous, relaxed, hope-filled people.
But it wasn’t always that way. From Freaky Friday to Friday the Thirteenth, the sixth day was, in ages past, thought to bring bad luck. Before Friday’s Child was identified as loving and giving it was commonly believed that those born on the sixth day got off to a bad start and those born at midnight on Friday were never totally human, for they saw ghosts and wandered into other worlds. For Christians, there is a part of us that is, from the beginning to ending of earthly life, intimately spiritually connected to Friday, in all its joys, sorrows, and mysteries.
While the action of Adam and Eve in the story of creation is defined by the Catholic Church as original sin, psychology calls it the human condition. Whatever we prefer to label it, we are a miracle of creation that is given the incredible privilege of experiencing human life, even though stained by our faults and imperfections. The sixth day is a good day in our weekly cycle for us to reflect upon and touch what that means. To help us do so, some people fast on Fridays; most Catholics, on Lenten Fridays, abstain from meat or something detrimental in our life to remind us of our union with Christ’s passion and our contributions to the sins of the world. The cross is the focal point of Friday because it marks the intersection of divinity and humanity, joy and sorrow, sin and salvation. What was lost in the Garden of Eden was regained in the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount Calvary, pointing us to the Garden of Paradise where humanity will experience a new creation, a divine state, again. More than a portal to the weekend, the sixth day is a portal to our identity and destiny. And that is worth some hope-filled anticipation that should inspire us to live life like it’s always Friday.