Friday, April 15th
Is 52: 13-53:12
Ps 31: 2, 6, 12-17, 25
Heb 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9
Jn 18: 1-19:42
“Into your hands I commend my spirit,
You will redeem me, O faithful God.” Ps 31:6
The only inherently “good” thing about this Friday is that God never left the scene of the crime. Jesus’ tortuous execution—aided and abetted by betrayal and lie after lie—has no redeeming quality in and of itself. The reason that we cannot do evil to bring about good is that God would never do such a thing. Yes, God was fully present that dark day, never as instigator, but in radical, suffering solidarity with Jesus. We know this because of Easter. Jesus knew God’s fidelity by heart, and witnessed God’s presence in the women and Beloved Disciple who stayed by his side.
Theologian Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ writes that we must never view the cross in isolation. “But take the cross in relation to the ministry of the one who was crucified and raised from the dead: the whole event inscribes into history the powerful love of God who is with creatures in their agony, bent on redeeming the world.” (Creation and the Cross, 111-112.)
So, our liturgical entrance into this day is apt: gathering in somber silence and dropping prostrate before the unspeakable tragedy of the just and beautiful put to death. And when we rise to meet the cross with our touch or kiss or bow, may our experience be of reverencing the One bent on accompanying all who suffer life-threatening injustices, and find ourselves beloved disciples in promising the same.
God of Life, help me today to know how to accompany and
advocate for those who suffer injustice.
Make this prayer tangible every day, by word and action.
Sister Mary Jo Curtsinger, CSJ