I didn’t have the chance to write what I wish I could have yesterday, but as I was thinking and pondering the reality of Good Friday and the silence of Holy Saturday, of all that was lost and all that was suffered by Christ, I came across the following quote that I wanted to share.
In the March 16th article of Christian Century, scholar Stephanie Paulsell writes, “On Good Friday we ponder the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of God’s vulnerability to everything that can happen to a human being…it’s also a day to ponder that the trajectory of Jesus’ life, from the arms of his mother to the arms of the cross, is a path upon which mothers and children are often still forced to travel. Because it’s even more dangerous for them to remain at home, mothers send their children on journeys across Central America, across the Aegean Sea, and on the many perilous refugee routes that crisscross the globe. And the cross on which Jesus died is crowded with mothers and their children this Good Friday.”
As we stand at the foot of the cross, we are challenged to remember the people who continue to suffer as Christ today. Refugees who risk their lives. Innocent people who undergo torture (because Jesus’ story teaches us that sometimes, the innocent are persecuted, tortured, and even killed by the state). Children who drown in the waters and are trafficked in the deserts. All of them are Christ’s body, broken before us.
For me, it is a challenge to really think about what Christ meant when he said, “When you welcome one of these, you welcome me.” It sounds very peaceful and sweet, but what he is actually saying is something far more difficult for us to live out. “Hey you!” Christ cries from the cross. “See this body? Broken? Bruised? Afflicted? Whenever you see another suffering, that is ME.” Imagine how the world might be different if we viewed all suffering bodies in this way?
Perhaps that is what we are called to reflect on in the silence of Holy Saturday. We who watch and wait and despair of the darkness may also find ourselves asking questions: who else is hanging on the cross with Christ? Whom does the power of this world seek to silence? And how are we who remain called to bear witness to a suffering world? Do we stand with the women, who refused to leave Christ’s side? Or will we run and hide for fear of the powers of this world?