Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

"I have named this icon “Christ of Maryknoll” because Maryknoll and Orbis Books mean so much to me. Both endeavor to see the Christ among the least of us, and to serve the Christ that lives in the margins of this world. Maryknoll priests, brothers, sisters and lay people have been imprisoned in China and elsewhere for their work among the poor, the broken, the oppressed; Orbis has taken great risks to extend the Maryknoll vision. I hope this icon will bring inspiration to all those who share in that vision."
Robert Lentz

Christianity is about Christ, victorious, risen, and ascended to heaven. Christ is easy to worship. He's washed your sin away in his blood. If you're not so much into the penal substitution theory of atonement, then delete "in his blood." But that's a minor quibble, really.

It's minor, because Jesus was spat upon, beaten, crucified, and died. He knows what it's like to suffer. God can understand our suffering, our flaws. God weeps with us. God is, in fact, broken, just as we are broken.

Lentz does not make it clear which side of the fence Jesus is on. Is He inside the compound, or outside it? Asking us to free Him, or looking in? Either way, this isn't a very powerful Jesus.

This Lenten season starts off on the same day as Malcolm X's feast day. He condemns America's racism. But... Americans aren't ready to listen. We prefer to deny racism while still holding prejudices in our hearts, and ignoring the social structures that perpetuate racism.

Martin Luther King's practically ends Lent. Martin died helpless, before he could accomplish his goal. And worse, Americans Americans today have dumbed down his witness, made him powerless. Nationally, we may celebrate his life, but most Americans still aren't ready to hear what he had to say. He condemned the Vietnam War, and would almost certainly have condemned the Iraq War. He condemned our economic system, which hasn't changed all that much since his day. If anything, it's gotten worse, with our offshoring to countries that lack labor and environmental standards.

We can only trust in God. Jesus' disciples failed to do so. They betrayed Him and scattered to the winds. But they had not experienced the Resurrection...

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty." A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:28-30

No comments: