Good Friday

The real tragedy of Good Friday was the death of Judas. This death was truly tragic, meaningless, violent and desperate. Much of my ministry has been spent with people who have died tragic deaths. Others have lived lives which have been devoid of hope. I think particularly of the experience of many heroin addicts as they moved towards despair. Unless we can identify in some way with this loss of hope, we have not begun to understand the Good Friday experience. In fact only those who know something of the meaning of despair can come to experience victory. Only the dead can appreciate resurrection, and all Christians must confront and experience the darkness as they move along the way to death. One of the worst aspects of the darkness which we face is the painful fear that some of the darkness we encounter may not be redeemable, that it may be the darkness of original sin. Yet this too must be faced in trust and confidence.

This entry into the darkness is the very heart of faith and of hope. To be a Christian at all is to enter this dark night: the night in which we do not know the way but in which God becomes luminously present. This dark night is a paradigm of the paschal transformation by which we are integrated into the life of God.

From We Preach Christ Crucified by Kenneth Leech. Tenth anniversary edition. Copyright © 1994, 2005. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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