April 14, 2006

Good Friday’s...

...service at the Cathedral washed & soothed. Seeing the old stones, the sermons in stones, the sky-hurtling chasmatic interior spires, the choir with voices so angelic that I wondered at how close the banal cliché really is - that heaven is composed of choirs of angels singing - it all humbled. A soloist chills to the bone: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" and I had trouble concentrating on the words, so powerful was the voice and the ominous, world-ending harmonics from the choir.

It's disturbing how routinely I just don't get it. Watching TPOTC, there’s a scene where Jesus is seemingly crushed in disappointment by the bad thief on the cross and my initial reaction was one of why is Jesus being portrayed as so needy of man’s affections? (Well, he is a man too, I think.) Then Dismas, the good thief, speaks of Christ’s innocence and again Jesus is so grateful, and I think: why should he be grateful for a thin a gruel as human praise? Then, - duh - it’s that Our Lord LOVES us and so wants each and every soul to come to him. It has not to do with Christ’s desire for praise or comfort but has to do with his desire to save souls and to see what he was doing on the cross as effective.

The Passion of the Christ also brought home that when Jesus said “do this in memory of me” he wasn't merely referring to the taking of the Eucharist, as important as that is, but also to the shedding of blood in ways real and symbolic. Do this in memory, he says, and John sees him on the cross offering his body and blood and it haunts: “do this in memory of me”. Bleed for others. The martyrs did.

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