Tag Archive for 'Good Friday'

Good Friday April 22, 2011

John 18:1-19:42                                                                                                                                                                   

I’ve never watched one of those reality TV shows, where people are cast on tropical islands to fend for themselves, voting one another “off the island” until an ultimate winner is left. Maybe in retirement I’ll come to that, but in my ministry I find there is quite enough “reality” just in everyday life. Because I have only a vague, hearsay notion of these “off the island” shows, I don’t know whether you’re allowed to take anything with you to the island. But supposing you are, what would I take? What one thing?

 Well, narrowed down to just one thing, I would have to say the Bible. (A choice that would no doubt ensure that I would be the first person voted off the island!) And if I were pressed to choose just one part of the Bible, it would be the Passion according to St. John, what we just read. As one commentator has said of John’s Passion narrative:

From beginning to end, artistry and ideology have consciously shaped traditions grounded in historical memory for purposes unique to this particular story of Jesus. Numerous details have been included that are nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament. Precise descriptions and electrifying dialogue merge to produce one of the most compelling and powerful stories of courage and commitment, betrayal and fear, politics and passion known to humankind. If we have not learned to find the importance of each word and phrase . . . , we will largely miss the carefully nuanced message of the Johannine Passion narrative. But if we do pay close attention, the story will lead us to the heart of humanity’s most compelling questions, to a forked road down which we must choose our own path[i]. Continue reading ‘Good Friday April 22, 2011’

Good Friday April 2, 2010

John  18:1-19:42                                                                

 

 For the message about the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Words of St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians; not a reading appointed for this day, but one surely that sums up what Good Friday is about:  the “message of the Cross . . . the power of God to those of us who are being saved.”

But how “the power of God”? We don’t often stop to ask ourselves that question. When I posed it a couple of weeks ago during a discussion of Paul’s teaching in the time after breakfast, there was a lot of awkward silence. What does the crucifixion of Jesus, symbolized by the Cross, mean to people like you and me today?

Volumes have been and are being written in answer to that question. But what I want to do tonight is to try to answer it in personal terms, in terms of what the death of Jesus means to me. It may not mean the same to you, and it need not, but perhaps my “testimony” will spur you to reflect on its meaning in your life. Continue reading ‘Good Friday April 2, 2010’

Good Friday April 9, 2009

John 18:1-19:42

We have, of course, four gospel accounts of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Early attempts to harmonize the four into a single true or pure gospel were rejected by the Church. There has never been, and there never will be, a single “take” on this man we call the Son of God. Continue reading ‘Good Friday April 9, 2009’