Good Friday, March 29, 2013



Below, you'll find a reflection for today, Good Friday, by M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D. 


We hope that you have a blessed Triduum..




By M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D.


Is 52:13-53:12 | Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9 | Jn 18:1-19:42


cross 2012 Today, the suffering, violence and brutality that we human beings inflict on one another are caught up in the memorial of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. God in human flesh embraces his fate and takes up his cross for love of us.


Enslaved Africans in the United States knew in their flesh what it meant to suffer. They never mitigated the horror, but they recognized their own suffering in Jesus' torture and death. Forbidden by law and custom to learn to read and write, these humble women and men listened with open hearts and keen ears to sermons that treated the passion and death of Jesus. Their oppression gave them an epistemological privilege-they understood his vulnerability and pain, they grasped his love. They took comfort from his loving solidarity and, in return, sought to comfort him. They poured out their love in songs and moans that transcended the boundaries of time and space. As Jesus stood with them in their sufferings, they would stand with Jesus in his.


Here is one of the most famous of these great songs of sorrow:


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?...


In Christ's peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

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