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Jesus Christ Has Just Died For You

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us. 

It is quiet and still.  Thankfully there is light to combat the growing darkness, but shadows move around me.  

Earlier, I served at 6:30 a.m. for The Liturgy for the Day.  As part of that, I voiced the parts of Peter and Pilate in the Passion Gospel.  I noticed the reading from John 18:1 - 19:37 did not call for Peter to speak aloud the third time when denying he knew Christ or was with him.  I was glad for that.  And Pontius Pilate, having found no case against Jesus, did just about everything he could possibly do to not have Christ condemned, but finally he was compelled to hand him over.  Yes, I finally felt for Pilate with compassion.

The mid-day Stations of the Cross were very powerful and moving.  I, along with others, had written personal meditations for various stations to accompany the traditional walk to Calvary with Christ.  I shuddered as I started reading my own with "Jesus, you are the ultimate outcast".  While I remained in the pew after the conclusion, I harked back to my Happening experiences with teenagers when we did the Stations the Saturday night of our weekend.  When I rose to leave, I half-expected one of the kids to step up and take my arm to press a carpenter's nail into my palm, saying "Jesus Christ has just died for you".  On Good Friday, I wear a black T-shirt from one Happening (VA #46) that we held during Lent.  The back of the shirt has a depiction of the Crucified Christ from the Stations we used on our retreats.

This day has now taken on a quiet tone of its own.  For a Friday afternoon, it seems less hectic, things appear to have simmered down, perhaps the stillness of the church has followed me out into the world.  It is not a bad feeling, but it is most definitely different.  I have a couple of pups to walk, so some joy will undoubtedly spring forth in that time.  And yet, Christ has died for us, and he now lies in a cold tomb hewn from the rock.  

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.  Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.