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Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Lately I’ve been coming to realize in a deeper way the radical-ness and craziness of the paradox of the paschal mystery. What we are really called to as Christians is death. weakness. failure.
In this, we are told, is life.

This really comes into focus on this Good Friday, where we hear of Jesus willingly subjecting himself to his torturers. He did not resist. He persevered in obedience to the Father and in love for all people, including those crucifying him.

As we are reminded today of the way of Christ, the way of the Cross, we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. In big ways and (especially) in small ways, we are called to self-sacrifice, non-violence, and sometimes even non-resistance. In this way we put into action our love for God and neighbor. People will not understand it, will find us strange and peculiar, will mock us and persecute us. This way makes no sense to the world and often times it makes no sense to me either. I am still a bit puzzled by this calling and find it very difficult – even borderline impossible. But when I take a good hard look at the teachings of Christ, it is clear to me that Jesus expects, and even requires nothing less from his followers.
In death is found Life.

Christ our teacher, for our sake you were obedient even to accepting death,
Teach us to obey the Father’s will in all things.
Christ our life, by your death on the cross you destroyed the power of evil and death,
May we die with you, to rise with you in glory.
Christ our King, you became an outcast among us, a worm and no man,
Teach us the humility by which you saved the world.
Christ our salvation, you gave yourself up to death out of love for us,
Help us to show your love to one another.

(From Liturgy of the Hours: Good Friday morning prayer intercessions.)

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