“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
and are so far from my cry
and from the words of my distress?” (Psalm 22:1. The Book of Common Prayer, p.610).
Today, Christians commemorate the most extraordinary of contradictions. All paradoxes meet each other and bond together. Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can It Be?” the first stanza ends with these amazing words, “Amazing love, how can it be? That Thou, My God shouldst die for me.”
The mystery of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ meets every form of human suffering and confronts them all with God identifying with them and defeating them with only love as the chosen weapon. The betrayal. The abandonment. The scourging and spitting. The crown of thorns. The insults. The nails. The seven last words. The letting go of everything. The humility. The compassion and love that have no bounds or explanation.
Today the arms of God are forever outstretched to embrace every person. All labels and worldly limitations are nothing in comparison to the love of God that is open to receive us without distinction.
Our contemplation on this Good Friday can take many directions. Each person will come away from today with a reflection of God that is unique. Yet, their experience is no more or less real than any others. Today, all scapegoating, all forms of division are rendered powerless for those who seek God’s help to overcome them.
Jesus shows us how to live and die with only faith in God as our only guide to what is God’s will and way of salvation for each of us.
What does the Holy Spirit through the passion, Crucifixion and death of Jesus on this Good Friday say to your heart? Whatever it may be, “Incline the ears of your heart” (The Rule of Saint Benedict, Prologue).
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB