Friday, March 29, 2013

The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world

‘What is truth?’ So in that drama which decided the whole fate of antiquity, one of the central figures is fixed in what seems the reverse of his true role. Rome was almost another name for responsibility. Yet it stands for ever as a sort of rocking statue of the irresponsible. Man could do no more. Even the practical had become the impracticable. Standing between the pillars of his own judgment-seat, a Roman had washed his hands of the world.” ― G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)

(Scripture Text: HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9)
Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Good Friday.  I’ve always thought that was a misnomer.  What is good about the day they crucified the Son of God?  Why was this part of God’s plan?  God’s plan seems painful and perplexing.  Even Jesus asked if there could be another way.  But what if God had changed His plan?  What if there was no crucifixion?  No atoning sacrifice.  No forgiveness.  Would we have a relationship with God?  If yes, I’m betting it would be more about fear than love.  Would we know Jesus?  Would we want to follow him or see him as a model?  What would love mean to me?  Would I even be able to feel love?  Love can be messy. But, boy, without it life would be pretty meaningless.  I guess Good Friday is critical in shaping who we are, how we live our lives, how we relate to God and how we relate to each other. 

Some people reject or do not understand Christ’s sacrifice.  Some do not understand the Catholic faith.  Even I don’t understand it fully.  That said, I recognize a gift from God and I am thankful for it.  I am thankful for the gift of faith.  God’s love, which appears at times to be messy to the human eye.  Confusing and mysterious.  Yet it works for me.

If you give it a chance and open your heart, it will work for you too.

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