Readings: Isa. 52: 13-53; Hebrews 10: 16-25; John 18: 1-19:42.
Good Friday once again. Why do we celebrate or remember a death so long ago? Why do we immerse ourselves in liturgies so somber and quiet? After all this is very much an interruption from our daily life; the hectic pace, the quest for productivity, efficiency and taking care of business (whatever busyness that might be).
Good Friday is indeed an ‘interruption’ from that daily routine and deliberately so. For it is on this day we remember some events which we would rather not think about or glaze over with abstractions and pious prattle. On this day we remember the torture and death of Christ; the fact that the Son of God allowed Himself to experience humiliation, rejection and death to show us the depth of God’s love. How did His death show love? Through His death Christ demonstrated the power of His teachings about the Kingdom, the power of love and the need to forgive our enemies; He did this through experiencing what we all dread, death, not giving way to hatred or despair but forgiveness, love and trust in the Father. This death was tragic, sad and lonely, an example of love being stomped out by political, religious and demonic forces (but, as Christians, we know that with Easter God’s love will triumph over evil and death).
Good Friday is also a day to remember the millions of people around the world who are now nailed to crosses, some of their own making but most imposed on them by political persecution, economic misfortune and sicknesses. The world suffers and groans, though we so seldom hear it. Today we remember and pray for those who are on the Cross suffering. We remember them through prayer and ask Christ how we can be given the grace to help remove others from their crosses.
So today we remember the suffering of Christ, the sufferings of our world, our own struggles and pray to a God who loves and heals (though often not when and how we want). An interruption worth taking? I think so.
Please remember Mission Doctors who take so many poor down from the cross of physical suffering due to disease and bodily infirmities.
God bless you and Peace on Good Friday!