Good Friday is part of the most important week in Christian Calendar. As we commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross, I will put down some of my experiences with this salvific act….
The holiest days of Christian calendar starts with Maundy Thursday (where he washes the feet of disciples and sacramentally gives his body and blood to all). Two key phrases that capture the essence of Maundy Thursday are ‘Break & Share’ and ‘Bend and Wash’ (these were the words in Holy Family Church, Mumbai yesterday). This is followed by Good Friday where the sacrament is enacted in the truest fashion possible culminating in the death of Jesus. It culminates or starts afresh with the resurrection of Jesus on the Easter Sunday.
- Today, I heard the story of a mother praying for her son who was into wrong ways. After getting irritated by mother’s constant prayers, pleadings, admonitions, he left the home. Definitely mother loved the child and wanted him to be changed (just like any good parent). I was just wondering what was the difference of God’s love and human approach here. Jesus on the journey to the cross have encountered so many hostile people. What was his approach to them? As a person of love, He just could love them. The act of forgiveness on the cross was just an expression of love. The entire incidents reveal to us a God who loves, accepts, trusts without any conditions. God is not waiting for us to be converted. To convert and transform is my choice, to love is HIS only choice.… He just loves and can only love.
- I see a relation between marriage and the entire passion story. 3 important components of passion are Maundy Thursday (more of symbolic gestures), Good Friday (symbolic gestures reached its perfection) and Easter Sunday (fruits of good Friday and a transformed existence). There is no resurrection without Good Friday, but Good Friday reaches its authentic meaning in the resurrection. Thus these are intimately connected. In the marriage too, the mass and nuptial ceremony denotes the sacramental (also symbolic) dimension. Human are symbolic beings and symbols are very important. It reaches its fullness in the consummation (which is also the complete becoming-one of the two persons. Though I use the word consummation, it is not just that one sexual act, but includes all acts of making that symbol of marriage promise acquire flesh and blood). But it can’t stop there, and shouldn’t. The resurrection experience of the marriage is in the fruitful living of the couple in the best possible way in their own circumstances.
Thus I think these days (and specially Good Friday) invites us for…
- To experience a God who can just love, a God who was ready to bend and wash and suffer on the cross.
- To move from symbolic gestures to real actions and be transformed by participating in those actions.