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Good Friday 2019
Saturday, April 20th 2019

Good Friday Reflection 2019

 ​(Fr. Derek Darby)

This year’s Good Friday centre-piece​, created by Jessie Heung and Jane Singleton from Ashbourne Community School,​ focuses on the corpus of Jesus Christ.  The body of Christ-crucified is depicted as wood, sand and flesh.  As the figure of Christ crucified is three dimensional, so too there are three spiritual dimensions which invite us to reflect more deeply on the Passion and death of Jesus:

 Sand:

The sand on part of Jesus’ body, recalls the beginning of Lent where, ‘The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days’ (Mt. 4:1).  There in the aloneness of the desert surrounded by sand, Jesus was tempted by the devil, lured by the promise of food and the glory of power should he bow before Satan.  In his weakened state, Satan derides Jesus: ‘If you are the ‘Son of God’, while at the same time challenging God to protect him should he throw himself off ‘the parapet of the Temple’.  The sand reminds us that throughout his desert experience, Jesus was protected by God who never abandoned him.  He experienced God’s strength, resolve, fortitude and love.  In a special way, the sand reminds us of our utter dependence on God at times when we need Him most.  Like Jesus, we surrender ourselves to Him.

 Wood:

The wood grain on a portion of Jesus’ body transports us from the manger to the cross.  As Jesus’ journey on earth begins with the wood of the manger, so does it end—not with the warm, welcoming wood of the manger, but with the rough wood of the cross.  This wood too, is associated with bread.  Coincidentally, ‘manger’ in French means ‘to eat’.  Jesus birthplace is Bethlehem, a town whose name means “House of Bread”.  It is as though God underlines that Jesus, the Redeemer is the Bread of life on which we are invited to be nourished.  The Body of Jesus nailed to the wooden cross made his words spoken at the Last Supper the preceding evening more significant when he held bread in his hands and declared, “This is my Body”.  The cross is the wood through which he becomes our life – the ‘Bread of life’.  As the manger became a symbol of poverty – it was in his poverty, his humility that Jesus hung on the cross out of love for us.  As Jesus rested in the wood of the manger, as he hung on the wood of the cross, He unites himself with us, and transforms our ‘lowly body to be like his glorious body’ (Phil 3:21).

 Flesh:

The third spiritual dimension depicted in Jesus’ body is revealed in his flesh.  The flesh reminds us of the humanity of Jesus, not just as the Son of Man who ‘humbled himself and became obedient unto death’ (Phil 2:8), but also in his ability to recognise the humanity in others.  Jesus was the one who he recognised the dignity of the poor, the sinner, the rejected.  He empathised with those who were suffering, whose hearts were broken, those ostracised from their family and communities.  He acknowledged the humanity of the lost, those who were searching, those who despaired.  Ironically, in all Jesus did to acknowledge and affirm the humanity and dignity of others, no one recognised his humanity, his dignity as he was stripped of his garments, stripped of his dignity on the cross.  Innocent though he was, the flesh reminds us of the pain he suffered as he bore our sins.  It is the person of Jesus, the innocent figure who hung on the cross for love of us that saves us.

 Reflection:

Do I trust enough to surrender myself to God and realise my utter dependence on God?

Do I truly believe that Jesus is the Bread of Life…….my Bread of Life?

Do I recognise the dignity and humanity in others?

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