Thank God for Easter. Jesus Christ is alive and he is not going to die again. This is a ‘good news story’ after the grim reality of Good Friday.
As the Passion of Jesus Christ is read on Good Friday afternoon, I always think of the scourging of Christ in the film, The Passion of Christ, directed by Mel Gibson. I only watched it once and the punishment is obscene.
Christ was not the first good man to die at the hands of ‘authorities’. The casual cruelty of the Romans crucifying Jesus, is the same casual cruelty that people experience everywhere today. Violence is in our DNA.
On Good Friday, in the church, people come up in a long line to touch the Cross or kiss it, linger momentarily because they have to move on with the press of people behind them. I ask myself: what are they thinking about? Is it wrongs done to them or what they have done to others that is on their minds? What ‘sorry’ or ‘angry’ words are hidden in their hearts.
The Good Friday liturgy allows us to enter into this area of sin and sorrow, whether accused or accuser. We know that forgiveness is here and now from the compassionate Christ who asked forgiveness for those who killed him.
Easter arrives with the unexpected good news of his resurrection, showing to the world that Jesus conquered not only death, but also the evil intentions of people who plotted against him, as they do today.
If we step back for a moment and reflect on his manner of living, of his dying in pain and feeling abandoned, we know that he retained a pure heart. He did not curse or swear; he forgave those who killed him on the orders of others whom he also forgave. He died free. He offers us the same possibilities of being free in the serious disturbances in our lives. He shows us how not to hold hatred in our hearts because its poison corrodes our spirit.
Easter teaches us to have hope, to be resilient, to live fully and most of all to have a pure heart.
Fr Gary Walker SSC
LISTEN TO: From the Director: Easter is a success story
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- Read more from The Far East - April 2017
- Watch Fr Gary Walker's 'From the Director - Easter Message'