All the events of Holy Thursday, the promises, remonstrations, and empty gestures become part of today’s events. Most of Jesus closest followers are nowhere to be seen. Those that are present were ‘watching from a distance.’ All the paradoxes continue. Why is today called ‘good,’ why is today’s liturgy called “A Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.” ?
We looked so closely at the stuttering and stumbling friendship of the followers of Jesus. Time and again they promised all to Jesus and got things so terribly wrong.
Ask yourself - Where do we see ourselves when reflecting on the passion narrative ? If we say we would try to prevent Jesus’ capture, surely we become Peter drawing his sword. Would we have said ’of course I know this man’ warming ourselves by the fire ? Would we have stood ’at a distance‘ ? All the shortcomings, frustrations, empty promises, paradoxes and gestures, present in the disciples, are they no less present in our lives also?
Much of life’s harsher side is here, including the dark side of human behaviour. If we know grief His mother is there, if we know anxiety for our children so too do the women of Jerusalem. There are angry crowds, unwilling help from Simon, mockery from the soldiers - “he saved himself”, two thieves, and despair. Yet in the midst of this, all is not as it seems. Jesus makes a promise that “today you will be with me in in paradise,” and the centurion gives “praise to God saying ‘this was a great and good man.’” What could possibly bring such light out of such darkness?
Today all our failures and shortcomings, stuttering and stumbling can be put to death with him. “He was pierced through for our faults . . . On Him lies the suffering that brings us peace and through His wounds we are healed.”
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