Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday reflections

he is disfigured ...

John 18:1-19:42


The old testament people were forewarned, "Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’ (Isaiah 52:13ff) considering that the One chosen by God could not be recognized because he was so disfigured ... disfigured by sin.
 
In this most solemn moment of commemorating the crucifixion and death of the Lord Jesus,  allow me to use the reflections of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his book "I believe in One God".

He said, "We feel how full of love the words were when he spoke on the previous evening during the last Supper. "This is my blood, of the covenant, which is poured out for many." (Mk 14, 24)  Jesus' sacrifice and death is because of this covenant God has for humankind: he loves us eternally and has entered into a covenant of life and love with Him.  

Secondly, Jesus embraced the whole of humankind.  In the Pope emeritus' words, "Christ's death recalls the accumulated sorrow and evils that weigh upon humanity of every age: the crushing weight of our death, the hatred and violence that still today stain the earth with blood."  He chose to enter humankind's world, embracing even the crushing moments of man's forgetfulness and sinfulness that would disfigure even his face, only to show us that he is willing to do everything for our sake.  This is the ultimate reality - Jesus chose to be one with us, touching the most wounded part of our lives, only for love.

Third, according to the Pope Emeritus, "If Good Friday is a day full of sorrow, it is therefore at the same time a particularly propitious day to reawaken our faith, to consolidate our hope, and courage so that each one of us may carry our cross with humility, trust, and abandonment in God, certain of his support and his victory ..."

This is what Pope Francis also said during his inaugural homily, "to hope against hope" that Christian men and women would be protectors of the earth and of one another in Jesus.

Jesus ultimately touches our lives and brings it to light.  We are never to continue wallowing in darkness.  He will bring us to light.  Victory is ours because we decide to carry our crosses because of love for Jesus and one another.

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