Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflection

How quickly betrayal happens. The sharp word out before we think, the little put-down, the laugh, the hesitation when reassurance is called for.

I broke my Lenten promise to give up pop this week. I ordered a diet coke in a restaurant without even thinking, and drank it when it came.

Is that how it was for Judas? Selling his friend without a thought, without reflection, the action done, the cold hard coins in his hand before he even realized it? Then the remorse, enough to drive him to suicide. And for Peter? Denying his friend, his Lord, three times before the cock crowed, and running away mortified and ashamed. Peter does not stand at the cross, or go to the tomb.

Good Friday brings us face-to-face with our human frailty. Humans fail. Humans err. Humans sin.

But even as we ponder our inevitable falls, Good Friday reminds us that God will not fail us, or give up on us, or let our failures be the last word on who we are. Forgiveness and reconciliation remain ours for the choosing. And God’s love is ours whether we ask for it our not.

The cross exposes the horror of our world in all its thoughtlessness and cruelty. But it also points us to a love that transcends all horror, all pain and all suffering. Even as we recognize ourselves in the ones who crucified Jesus, we also recognize that we can do better, we can reach higher, we can stand at the foot of the cross.

Knowing ourselves as we truly are is the first step to transforming ourselves into what we are called to be. And that is God’s people, a people of justice, hope, faith and love.

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