Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Good "Good Friday"

The phone call never came and I didn't call either. As it were, it was for the best. I was tired from a bladder infection and after laundry, a care planning meeting for mother, a lengthy visit with her, some blogging, I was just wanting a little quiet down time with God...not some crowded, complicated Via Crucis en vivo.

So I ate some leftovers and went over to St. Ann's. As I watched the church fill for the Spanish Good Friday service, I remembered several years ago when I first proposed the idea of offering Viernes Santo at a time and in a language that worked for our community. Back then it was attended by a couple of dozen stalwarts. Now there are many and the line to venerate the Cross seemed interminable.

Mothers came up with little children, showing them how to bless themselves and pay respect to Our Savior. Gawky adolescents made quick genuflections and nervously touched the Cross. Everyone had their own style -- mine being a sort of oriental gasho and a kiss firmly planted in the center of the Cross.

I watched Fr. Jorge and felt happy that I had lobbied for the diocese to assign him to St. Ann's. He is more traditional than I am, but the number of people in attendance last night and the relative smoothness of the service are testimony to his good relationship with the community. My "family" now has the father it has always needed and deserves. They are bonding with him and my heart is glad.

1 comment:

  1. Thousands were crucified after the Spartacus slave rebellion, thousands more during and after Jesús life and death. And now we venerate an instrument of torture as if it were a holy relic.
    I am told that the reason that we venerate the cross is because it signifies the death of the mortal men/women and the birth of the spiritual one, and I can certainly understand that because I think that this is exactly what Jesus meant for us to grasp from the whole ordeal of his torture and crucifixion. Let the ways of the body past and embrace the promises of spiritual and eternal life.
    But still, too many, millions are attached to the symbols, to the material aspect of them I mean. And the Christian ceremonies perpetuate that attachment.
    And the non Christians see that, people adoring an item of suffering.

    And then we have the images of Jesus and the Saints, we don’t pray to a statue we say, just use the image as a reminded or as a mental queue of the saint to whom we are praying too. The same with the images of Virgin Mary.
    And painters and artist still dear to pain God Himself, usually as a bearded old man of not a very good temper. Zeus looking like, I would dear to say.
    Still the chapels with images are full of “ex-votos”, flowers, etc. at the feet of the image. We speak to the images, we touch the images, and we kiss the images... need I say more.

    Then the Eucharist, the Son of God was made man and in a ritual supper, he said: “Do this in my memory”.” This is my flesh, this is my blood” And someone interpreted it literally and every day at mass, we eat and drink the body of Jesus.
    Why would Jesus want us to eat and drink his body? Does it make any sense?
    How many bodies of Jesus have been eaten and drank throught out the centuries?

    And again, the outsiders see a religion where the faithful eat and drink the body of their God.

    Can we finally get to grasp the true meanings of all that?
    If not, then the Christians have no business condemning the believes and practices of the so called “pagans”.

    They knelt, offered gift and made petitions at the feet of Athena Parthenos or Apollo, the Sun God or the druids worshiped nature in different ways, etc.

    They had their magic, we have ours, but ours is better we say, because is not magic, but the rituals inspired in the life and teachings of Jesus-Christ, but…we if we don’t understand and live these teachings…you could’ve full me! An outsider has the right to say.