At the scene, when God is dying…
Some people reading this title may possibly be tempted to move on to another reflection.
They may want a text that is less… shocking.
At Christmas time, some were reluctant to pronounce the words: GOD IS BORN.
They found it less shocking in the text of John’s gospel: « The word was made flesh.” (Jn.1:14)
And yet… who is this WORD?
The very one we see nailed to the cross – God’s own Son, God himself.
God himself become one-of-us…
As he slowly, painfully, made his way to the place where he was to die, different people were there to see him pass…
Some women lamenting, as was the custom, offering a compassionate presence to one condemned to death. (Lk.23-27)
A man called Simon, perhaps returning from his field – he was originally from Cyrene in North Africa. (Mt.27:32)
Tradition tells us that a woman named Veronica bravely approached Jesus to wipe his face covered with sweat and blood.
We can imagine Mary, his mother, and John, near the cross. (Jn.19:25-27)
The soldiers were there, of course, they had a job to do, they could not do otherwise. (Jn.19:23)
There were two other men also condemned to death – thieves we are told. (Mt.27:38)
The leaders of the Jews were present as well – at long last they had obtained what they wanted: to get rid of the Man of Nazareth. (Mk.15:31-32)
I am looking for some other people, but I cannot see them… Where are they?
The blind who can now see everything clearly.
The deaf and dumb who can hear and speak like you and me.
The paralytics no longer needing even a stick to walk.
The lepers freely joining a group without shame or fear to be sent away.
Where are they all?
God was dying… it was shocking.
The absence of those who should have been there was also shocking.
My absence would be no less so… if it means that I fail to understand that… he was dying for me.
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/vendredi-saint-annee-a-2020/