It’s Good Friday. Why would anyone call it “GOOD”? Today the Roman Empire executed Jesus. Beat him, stripped him, mocked him, jeered at him, hoisted him intot he air on cross, threw dice for the purple royal robe in which they had clothed him, pierced his side with a soldier’s spear, heard him cry from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachtani!” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” Why would anyone in their right mind call this horror “GOOD”?
Sebastian Moore, O.B, speaks to this in The Crucified Jesus Is No Stranger (Seabury Press, 1977).
The meaning of the Christ-event is that in it the wrestle of man with his God-intended self is dramatized and led through the phases of rejection, hatred, crucifixion, destruction, surrender, new life. Oscar Wilde said, “each man kills the thing he loves.” Those who stop short of evil in themselves will never know what love is about. They will never receive the crucified. – p. 37
The human race thinks it can go on with all its Narcissistic human normalities, of war, of politics, of religion, and that somehow the vast other side of the picture will look after itself. So in opting for “himself as conscious”, man is opting for an ultimate solitude.
And ultimate solitude is death. It is to be cut off from the tree of life, and to wither. – pp. 69-70
For your further reflection, this poem received today from Steve Shoemaker.
What makes this Friday Good is not what Rome
did to Jesus: torture, false witnesses,
and finally capital punishment.
In all regimes these standard practices
preserve the powerful, but then foment
disgust, infamy, abroad– shame at home.
The dying one, the empty tomb was good
only if we are justified by trust,
mysteriously by God’s grace made whole.
The goodness cannot stay with us, it must
be passed on to the world–this is our role.
The Good is recalled in the feast: soul food.
In a few moments I will host the Good Friday meditation – readings from the Gospels, long silences, the movements of Garbriel Faure’s Requiem…silence…reading… until it all soaks in.
I can’t get to Easter by by-passing the cross. Click to hear the music.