Posted on Apr 9, 2020

St John Vianney R C Church

Part 2

Romantics (Christians amongst them) want to be given a sigh of relief. Good Friday calls us to set aside dodgy speculations and false piety and go to Calvary, and trust that because of the cross, God shares in the suffering of his world. That he is with us in what we suffer too.

If that was all today told us we might feel warmly disposed to the God who shares our pain, but it wouldn’t take us much further than that. John’s gospel, though, presents his passion as something that Jesus does, rather than as something done to him. He cries ‘It is finished’ as he dies, not ‘I am finished’, and the cross is but part of that journey in which Jesus has been showing us the indestructibility of God’s love.

On Good Friday two things are inseparable: Jesus is lifted up in the pain of the cross, displaying God’s solidarity with a suffering world; and at the same time he is lifted up in triumph to show pain does not have the last word and that sin and death are ultimately dealt with.

So, of all days, this is one on which we dare to hope. God hasn’t come with a glib, easy answer to the question of suffering, but on the cross he has entered into the question himself to show that he is with us. So doing, the horizon has opened beyond our imagining – our lives have become places where his healing love can dwell.
Could I please also today ask you to remember in your prayers all the staff and patients at the Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre.
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