Good Friday

Lent 2021

Good Friday

Friday, April 2, 2021


John 18:1 – 19:42

Reflection by Father Lou Meiman
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I have never preached on Good Friday.  Not once.  In 33 years.  And the only explanation I can give has to do with Machu Picchu.  You’ve seen the pictures.  Everyone has.  It’s a place that deserves those pictures.  I’ve been to so many of the world’s beautiful places.  Far more than any one person has a right to.  I’ve been lucky that way.  And then, on the 6th of July 2015, my sister’s 50th birthday as it happened, I spent a day alone at Machu Picchu.

And as I wandered, and climbed, and took more than 350 pictures of my own, a single thought kept coming back to me.

I do words.  And I’m good at it, I hear.  I put important and eternal things into words.  Every day of my life, more or less.  I preach.

I do words.

And I have no words.

That is, and always has been, the experience of Good Friday for me.  And so I stay silent.  And let the doing of the mystery that is the church’s liturgy speak beyond words

And it always has, for me at least.

As I sit and watch, one by one, people come to the cross.  Kissing it.  Touching it.  Kneeling before it.

And somehow, when they stand before it, their life is there. In their faces.  In their touch.  Just for a moment.

I remember a boy from years ago.  He was at that age when the arms and legs are growing faster than the mind can keep up with.  And everything is awkward.  Until that one Good Friday when he stood before the cross.  And suddenly, in a move of poetry and grace that would have made Baryshnikov proud, he flowed down onto his knees, grasping the foot of the cross in both hands, and pressed his forehead against it.

I do words.

And I have no words.

As St. Francis of Assisi prayed so, so often:

We adore you O Christ, and we bless you, for by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

As you pray today, I invite you to reflect: Do you ever pray without words?  Good Friday is a wonderful time to be silent and still before the great Mystery of the Cross

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