Today is the most enigmatic day of the Church Year. Enigmatic means mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, bewildering, confusing, incomprehensible, unfathomable… We come today to glory in the cross of Christ. This makes no sense. Jesus has died a cruel death. How can we glory in all this pain, suffering and death? I don’t understand how God can be all powerful and yet apparently choose to do nothing. Does this all-powerful God simply refuse to intervene in the tragedies of our lives?
Maybe the cross of Christ is showing us a different kind of God. Maybe this day offers the truest image of who God really is. Maybe “the only God worthy of our belief is a vulnerable and powerless one who suffers with us.” (Richard Kearney (Anatheism). I’ll end with a passage from the theologian Jurgen Moltmann: “When the crucified Jesus is called the ‘image of the invisible God’, the meaning is that this is God, and God is like this. God is not greater than he is in this humiliation. God is not more glorious than he is in this self-surrender. God is not more powerful than he is in this helplessness. God is not more divine than he is in this humanity. The nucleus of everything that Christian theology says about ‘God’ is to be found in this Christ event. The Christ event on the cross is a God event.” Enigmatic? Defnitely! And that leaves us only one thing to do. Adore!
Photograph by Brother Brian. Excerpts from Abbot Damian's homily for Good Friday.