From societal clues, it seems we are grateful simply because the weekend has arrived, two days that we can sit around and do whatever we like, or nothing at all.
Katy Perry has a song out now called "Last Friday Night" and part of the song involves a chanted refrain of sorts of "T. G. I. F." The song itself describes what she and her friends (or at least the voice of the song) did last Friday night, which includes, among other things, this little list:
There's a stranger in my bed,Most regrettably, this seems to be a common experience of what Friday night has become, nothing less than a time for drunken revelry.
There's a pounding in my head
Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ's passed out in the yard
Barbie's on the barbeque
Is this a hickie or a bruise?
After singing of other questionable - and rather immoral - behavior from last Friday night, Perry sings:
This Friday nightSo many people seem to be living for this sort of activity today, which now even begins on Thursday, if indeed it ever ceases for a day or two. Too many find themselves caught in this animalistic behavior that brings them no real or lasting happiness, which is why they have to do it all again. Maybe this time the feeling of euphoria will last. Maybe.
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again
To live in such a way that your only glimmer of hope is a party-filled Friday night of which you do not remember much the next day seems to me a very sad life. There is surely little reason here for which to be thankful.
Thank God it's Friday? If all Friday entails is this repetitious cycle of drunken antics, I'd rather Friday never come.
From the nascent days of Christianity, Christians have rendered thanks to God on Friday's because it was on a Friday - the one we call Good - that Christ Jesus shed his blood for us. By his death on the Cross, the Lord "took away the guilt of [our] sin" and "fill[ed us] with the joy of salvation" (Psalm 32:5, 7).
Because of the self-sacrificing love of the Son, we can indeed thank God it's Friday; it is only because of him that Friday has any real importance.
Let each of us then spend time reflecting on the Passion of the Lord and use Friday - as Christians have always done - as a day for prayer and penance. Then the words of the Psalmist will rightly be lived in us: "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart" (Psalm 32:11).