I read recently of a migrant from Syria who, after a life threatening journey of his own 14 Stations of the Cross,..14 episodes on a story from Crucifixion, or was it to be towards an ongoing & worsening Crucifixion I wonder? from mob rule, terrorist or government militia..an escape attempt in selling his life to a mercenary boatkeeper for 30 pieces of silver, & onto & over the Mediteranean to a safe destination, holy ground among fellow believers in the one God, or is the reality just another Station on an ongoing journey towards Crucifixion..where another mob this time in the UK, an outspoken influential local voice, a gritty defender of the status quo, or a Home Office civil servant, civil in name if not in practice, instead of shouting a Palm Sunday welcome, bellow a Good Friday condemnatory prejudicial denial “crucify them, crucify them!” no more room at the inn..
“Lord, when did we see you a refugee & not offer you sanctuary?” & we know Our Lords response all too well..however today, of all days, think & pray again, go deeper into his wounds & his broken heart.. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” ..& truthfully, is the “they” them or us?. “truth..what is that?”..
& the migrant from Syria brought with him on his Holy Week journey towards the hope of a resurrection just two possessions, two things he wanted to be remembered for, if his three falls, his scourging & the absence of a Simon of Cyrene, & an entry visa to the UK was to result in his death..
I wonder what two things you would take on your lonely journey on a real Good Friday?..
the migrant took..kept safe & treasured..a clock & a passport..a clock that had stopped at the moment the Syrian governments missile struck his home & left him bereaved & bereft..& his passport, now invalid..
..our Jesus the migrant..an outsider from wrong region Galilee [Tang Hall] with clock which stopped at 3pm & his Jewish passport now invalid ; “woman I do not know him”
“we have no king except Caesar”..
& as you kiss the feet of Jesus in a few moments time, what two treasured thoughts will you bring forward to remind you..not him; he knows you inside out upside down already, & for that fullness of knowing , not in spite of, but because of, your own ongoing betrayal & disownment of him, he died for you..for you..to remind you of your true identity..
..did your heart miss a beat at 3pm just now?
& is your presence here this afternoon still valid?..& before you have the audacity to think of saying yes, he validates your entry into divine citizenship..” it is accomplished “
..will you have the courage to whisper it from your heart as you venerate his Cross..& he venerates yours ?..
“..do this in memory of me..”
[ Good Friday Yr B Jn 18.1-19.42 ]