Good Friday—the day of anguish for those of us who follow Jesus. As a consequence of Jesus lifting up the needs of those who were suffering, he was condemned to death. As a consequence of irritating the religious leaders, Jesus was condemned to death. As a consequence of NOT “going along to get along,” Jesus was condemned to death.
What a challenging road to follow!
Today in our nation, we followers are called to similar actions. We approach many blind politicians and urge them to respond to the needs of low income and struggling people in our society—and they call us socialists.
We approach the Trump administration to get them to stop imposing punitive policies that tear families apart at the border—and they call us traitors.
I get invited to speak at a parish as part of their Lenten series and then I get uninvited because I am considered too controversial.
We are not literally condemned to death these days, but faithfulness has a price.
The good news amongst the suffering is that in the struggle for fidelity, we are seen by our loving God. As the reading from Hebrews points out: Jesus the Christ is not separate or apart. Jesus the Christ knows our struggles because he lived them too. Jesus the Christ remained faithful “unto death.”
In this turbulent world, let us make our every breath a prayer that we might be faithful to those living in economic poverty and struggling to find their way. Let us make every breath a prayer for our beleaguered earth. Let us make every breath a prayer for help to live Jesus’ way of love—without regard for the consequences.
My fellow Christians, together let us “take courage and be stouthearted all who hope in the Lord.” This communal quest is the only way to Easter.
Sister Simone Campbell is the Executive Director of NETWORK – a national group of social justice advocates inspired by Catholic Sisters that lobbies in D.C. to mend the gaps in income and wealth in the U.S. She has led five cross-country “Nuns on the Bus” trips, focused on economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, voter turnout, bridging divides in politics and society, and (most recently) mending the gaps. She wrote the famous “Nuns’ Letter,” considered by many as critically important in convincing Congress to support the Affordable Care Act, and is the author of A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community, published by HarperCollins. She has received numerous awards, spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change.