Good Friday 2012

What is truth? That's the question Pilate asks Jesus, and Jesus has just said, For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. We who just have heard John's Passion remember that Jesus has earlier said that he, Jesus himself, IS the truth, so we look to Jesus for the answer[1].

What truth do we see in Jesus in the Good Friday story? Jesus has been betrayed and abandoned by his friends. He is mocked, and slapped, and yelled at. He is stripped and tortured and killed. What is truth?

The Good Friday truth is that life hurts. All of us here are old enough to have experienced that truth. We, like Jesus, know how it feels to have someone we love disappoint us, perhaps even betray and abandon us. There may even be times when life hurts so much that we, like Jesus, think even God has abandoned us, and cry out My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The truth is that life hurts. We, like Jesus, know what it means to feel pain in our bodies. Perhaps we have not been slapped and tortured, but we know the pain when our bodies betray us: when our bodies no longer work like they used to – the loss of our body's ability to run or to remember; the sickness, the cancer, the weakness of eyes and ears and heart…

The truth is that life hurts. We, like Jesus, know death. The agony and emptiness when someone we love dies, and the pain of facing our own death… So, the Good Friday truth is that, like Jesus, we are all going to die.

What is truth? Ask Pilate; a good question for today. Jesus said that Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice, and Pilate didn't listen. John's gospel tells us that after Pilate asked the question, he walked away.

So the only truth that Pilate knows is the one he sees all around him: The truth is life hurts and we're all going to die. But those of us who do listen to Jesus know something more. Those who listen to Jesus have heard the Easter message and can hold it close to our hearts on every Good Friday of our lives. We cling to it when life hurts and when we face death.

We, who listen to the truth that is Jesus, remember that Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, AND the life.

We, who listen to his voice, have heard Jesus say, I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me, even though they die, will live[2]. That is truth. My brother, my sister, let us believe it! ■

[1] Good Friday. Readings: Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Psalm 31:(Lk.23:46),  2.6.12-13.15-16.17.25.  Philippians 2:8-9. Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9. and the Passion Narrative of John the Evangelist 18:1-19:42
[2] 11:25

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris