There is Nothing Good about this Friday

There is Nothing Good about this Friday April 20, 2019

 

There is nothing good about this Friday.

There is nothing good about a day when you cannot find the Lord.

There is nothing good about a church with nothing the tabernacle, nothing on the altar, every statue draped, the candles extinguished, not even a drop of water in the font.

There is nothing good about this Friday, when we shuffle into a bench, hungry from fasting, and find that the Bread of Life is not there.

This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Salvation of the world. Come, let us worship! 

How can there be anything good about this Man? He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

He barely spoke a word, and gave no resistance.

Could this really be the Lord?

There is nothing good about this screaming crowd– everyone, all the squabbling factions of society, rich and poor, clean and unclean, conquerors and conquered, at last united for one cause, and that cause is to lynch an innocent Man.

And what of this other crowd? What is this crowd? Who are these billions of other people, congregating at the foot of the Cross?

These people have committed genocides, and claimed they were doing the will of the Crucified One. They have wiped out nations and cultures in His name. They have tortured; they have raped; they have burned people to death. They have sided with one earthly empire and then another. They have given themselves over to riches and worldly esteem. They have broken one another for power’s sake, and the whole time thought they were representing Him.

I see married people who abused their spouses and called it headship. I see parents who destroyed their children and called it training up a child. I see people who abandoned their neighbors to starve and called it prudence. I see people who call supremacism “culture” and think it has anything to do with that Man dangling from the tree. I see consecrated men and women, gifted with the most awesome blessing and responsibility, lording it over others and abusing them. I see bishops hiding their crimes so they’ll be free to do it again. And all of these consider themselves righteous.

Is this really the Church?

Because it looks like the Church. And I can name so many people who have encountered this brood of vipers, rather than Christ, whenever they’ve entered a church.

 

This is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Salvation of the world. Come, let us worship! 

I hear the cries of the victims of this multitude of people– the victims of genocides, of torture; of poverty that no one bothered to help ease; of sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse. I hear them crying out to Heaven Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani. My God, My God, why have You abandoned me? 

And then I realize that that cry is coming from the Cross.

And I see that God has descended from Heaven to Earth– not in order to affirm the complacency of that multitude, but to suffer with their victims.

I see that Christ became the Divine Victim, willingly, for this. He knew just what would happen if He came to make His dwelling among us, but He chose to do it anyway. He did it out of pure love, and He did it for us. So that when, inevitably, cruel and self-righteous people misused every gift He gave them, they would look upon the One they had pierced, and see that they had pierced the Lord, and perhaps they would repent. And when, inevitably, His beloved was the victim of cruelty and violence, that victim would look upon the Lord and see her own agony drawn up into Christ.

This is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Salvation of the world. Come, let us worship! 

See, the whole world is the wood of the cross, and the Lord is spread out on the world from one end to the other. He is everywhere where we suffer, drawing our suffering up into His own Body, so that we may die His death, rise with His resurrection, and ascend with Him into Paradise. He is everywhere where we sin, so that we can see that our sin is against Him, receive His mercy, and be healed.

There is nothing good about this Friday except that the Lord Himself was faithful to us, when we chose unfaithfulness. There is nothing good about this day, when mankind expelled the Lord from the Holy City and hung Him on a tree– nothing good, except that the Lord made our very act of doing so the means of our salvation, if only we would realize and repent.

There is nothing good about this Friday, except that every soul who has gone into a church and found suffering instead of the Lord, has had her cry of Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani come forth from the mouth of God Himself.

There is nothing Good about Good Friday, except for the Lord. And because of the Lord, this is the best day there could ever be except for the one that is coming.

The one that is coming is almost here, and all flesh will see it together.

Come, let us worship.

(image via Wikimedia Commons)  

 

 

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