Friday afternoon is quiet. The damage is done, the pierced body is wrapped tight and buried. What remains are flashes, what remains are echoes- his face, his words…
“Behold your mother.”
“It is finished.”
It is all so distant now: the gravel beneath our feet, the shouts of the crowd, the jeers of soldiers and his final breaths from the cross, somehow heard above the rest. It all seems so distant now. He is dead.
Afternoon is turning to night, and I already turn away, moving on. Maybe it is shock. Maybe it is indifference, but I am ashamed. Just a few hours out of sight, and I am already putting it all out of mind?
We see the 10,000 scars on our earth. We see the shifting climate wreak havoc on farmers with drought, on fishers with storm. We see, again and again, that the poor bear the heaviest burdens of our heaving world, shoved closest to the precarious edges of a slipping planet. We see pictures, we see statistics, we see YouTube clips. Flashes. Echoes. And then we turn away. And then we forget.
Good Friday is not the whole story. Suffering is not the whole story. But even in the radiant newness of Easter Sunday, Good Friday is not to be forgotten. We remember. We stay close to what is broken as it is made whole.
- What is it easiest for me to forget?
- Who is it easiest for me to forget?
- What does it mean to remember?
Garrett Gundlach, S.J., Jesuit scholastic born and bred among the Great Lakes, scouting, bearding and biking his way into religious life. Never caught without a harmonica, often seen hugging trees, and joyfully awaiting the transformation of this world in love. Blogger for The Jesuit Post, social worker among Chicago refugees, and is still trying to figure out the Paschal Mystery.
Garrett Gundlach, SJ is a second-year Jesuit regent at Red Cloud High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. That basically means that he’s halfway through his formation as a Jesuit, learning from high schoolers before learning from books in theology studies. He loves bare feet, crayons, and being laughed at by his students.