Brothers & Sisters,
One of the focused themes for Good Friday is suffering. This is to be seen in the readings for the day. The first reading from Isaiah is referred to as, the song of the suffering servant, psalm twenty-two is titled by one translation as a plea for deliverance from suffering and hostility while the reading from Hebrews is referred to as interpretations of the obedient suffering of Jesus. The Gospel reading from John is known to us as the Passion of our Lord. The implication from this is that in Christ, God identifies with human suffering in all its expressions. In a context where most people seek answers and ask for reasons, our readings make the point, that suffering in whatever form, is part of the human experience.
Some of us conclude that suffering is punishment for sin, however, I suggest that suffering is the consequence of sin. In the event of Good Friday, Jesus offers to us the way to overcome suffering as he participates in suffering and ultimately triumphs over it. In all of this, the intention is not to inflict suffering on others or engage in self-inflicted suffering but to accept that this is due to humanity’s sin.
As we reflect on this theme, we remind ourselves that in Christ we too will triumph over sin.