Friday, March 21, 2008

Today is Good Friday.

Isaiah 53:4-7

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.

Don't cry, I told myself.  I was inside a packed church and listening to this prophecy from Isaiah that referred to Jesus, and I could not help my tears.  People can see you.  Get a hold of yourself.  But the voice did not work.  I reflected on the Seven Last Words and was already overwhelmed by Jesus' love for me.  Then moving on to the Veneration of the Cross, I could not contain it anymore.  I stopped caring what people thought.  Jesus was all that mattered.

By his stripes we were healed.  I could not take it.  I was not worthy.  How could I stand there and pretend to be His follower?  I was a hypocrite.  That my sins drove the nails to His cross was all I could think of.

Fr Brian Steele, mgl gave the most powerful homily of his that I had ever heard.  He challenged us to say we did not give a damn that Jesus died for us.  He challenged us to say it three times, and told a story of a man who choked the third time he said it loudly in front of the cross.  Jesus died on the cross and I will give my life for Him,  that's what Fr Brian encouraged us to say.  And he ended his homily with the words:

"Today is Good Friday."

I was trembling after this.  I made no effort anymore of hiding that I was crying.  I kept saying sorry to Jesus and asking Him if He still loved me.  I wanted to ask Him, or to ask someone, but everyone seemed busy.  I stayed on my pew after the service and wrote on my journal.  

Then, just like that, Sr. Nilda approached me and asked me how I was.  Then she asked me how was my heart.  I was taken aback.  How did she know?  My eyes showed how I was feeling perhaps.  I allowed her comforting words to envelop me.  She reminded me that Jesus loved me and that I had only to trust Him.  She encouraged me to listen to my inner heart and to seek silence, and continue to pursue it.  She offered their house and private chapel for me to find refuge at.  She said she was just a phone call away if I needed to pour out my heart about my inner struggles.  I thanked her profusely for her generosity and she thanked God for leading her to approach me.

I am still a long way from healing but today I am emboldened to claim that I am already healed. For today is Good Friday.  

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