John 18: 1-19, 42
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John.
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Today is Friday,” three Roman soldiers are unwinding in a Jerusalem bar on a Friday night. It had been a long, hard week. It was Passover, which meant that they had worked double shifts because of the crowds. And to make things worse, a would-be Messiah named Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem the previous Sunday and almost caused a riot. But everything had taken care of itself. Passover was coming to an end, and when Jesus was crucified his disciples dispersed.
While downing their drinks, two soldiers are talking about their day’s work.
1st Soldier: Ain’t I seen ’em? I seen plenty of them [crucified]. I tell you [Jesus] was pretty good in there today.
2nd Soldier: You’re a regular Christer, big boy.
1st Soldier: Sure, go on and kid him. But listen while I tell you something. He was pretty good in there today. (210)
A third soldier remains quiet. He is sick. He had seen just as many crucifixions as the other two, but somehow this one had been different. He cannot put into words how it was different or what he had seen but it had made him sick. The story ends with the soldiers going back to the barracks and one of them saying to his sick comrade, “You been out here too long. That’s all.”
Hemingway’s story reveals one of the ways in which God’s grace breaks into our lives. When we have a new reaction to a routine experience, when we see the old and the ordinary in a new light, we experience revelation. Like the soldier in the story, we may not be able to put into words what is happening to us, but revelation happens not in the explanation so much as in our awareness. How often do we become sick because the tenderness of God’s love exposes the callousness of our lives? At such moments, we can be tempted to say to ourselves something like the soldier said to his comrade. “I’ve been working too hard.” Or “I’m taking myself too seriously.” We can readily dismiss feelings of uneasiness or guilt over a long-standing behavior as nothing but merely a passing mood, when in fact, however, such feelings may contain a divine invitation.
~ A Meditation by Marc Foley, O.C.D.
Within the cross is life’s mainstay and consolation, and it alone provides the way to our salvation.
~ Saint Teresa of Avila, O.C.D.
En la cruz está la vida y el consuelo, y ella sola es el camino para el cielo.
~ Santa Teresa de Ávila, Carmelita Descalza