Friday, April 3, 2015

Holy Friday

Jesus said : It is consummated

And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit - John 19, 30. It is by this sentence, of an extreme sobriety, that the Gospel according to saint John depicts Christ’s death. In his account, no darkness or earthquake, torn curtain in the Temple and opened tombs with raising saints walking in the city - Mt 27, 45, 51-53. No! Just a feeling of fullness.

Certainly, the Passion according to John, as the three others, puts every reader in front of an absolute horror : the condemnation and execution of an innocent, of THE Innocent. Two chapters where meet all together:  bad deal, treason, indifference - denounced in his Letter for Lent by Pope Francis - and finally, a pure violence of which men are sometimes capable. Synthesis of all the misfortunes of our world, which, in spite the increasing feeling to belong to the same humanity, seems to have no limits. How, in this year where we remember the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Death Camps, do not think to Auschwitz in this day?

Yes, all bloody human madness, and more still, is contained in the Passion. However, it is the apex, the summit, of a way, which, from Bethlehem to the Golgotha, brings back humanity on its feet! Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped - Philippiens 2, 6 ss -.  And again : In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered - Hebrews 5, 7-8. If Christ, in John’s, can give up his spirit so serenely to the Father, it is because during all his life on earth he was drive by the accomplishment of his father’s will: Holocaust or victim you did not desire… then I said: Behold I come. In the head of the Book, it is written of me that I should do your will, O my God - Psalm 40, 7-9. Where the first Adam had rebelled, second, The Eternal Son, found his joy in obedience. Pilate was not aware that he was right when he proclaimed: Here is the man - John 19, 5. The man who accepts his condition of creature, who refuses deadly temptation to think himself as God, and to act as a demiurge - Genesis 3, 5.

This True Man tells himself to us throughout the Gospel and the Cross summarizes his message. Today, we must contemplate it in order to know more about Him. Come, let us adore Him in the silence of our heart. By his wounds, we have been healed of ours and He guides us toward His glory.

+ fr. Raphaël-Jacques, Cfr

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