Tre Ore, The Three Hours

LinkTre Ore, the ‘Three Hours’ is the name of the solemn service we attend now, this Good Friday, from noon until 3pm. During this time we meditate on the Seven Last Words of Christ, the seven utterances Jesus delivered from the cross, which are selected from the Four Gospels:

1. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
2. ‘Truly I say unto you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
3. ‘Woman, behold your son! ... Behold, your Mother.’
4. ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’
5. ‘I thirst.’
6. ‘It is finished.’ (Tetelestai or
7. ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.’

Cursed, beaten and forced to carry His own cross, Christ’s crucifixion on ‘Good Friday’, is the blackest day in Christian history.

There are many opinions about the origins of the term Good Friday. Some scholars argue that the word ‘Good’ is an abbreviation of ‘God.’ And early Christians commemorated the sad event by calling it ‘God's Friday.’ Others claim that ‘good’ signifies the bounty of blessings we’ve received through salvation itself that Christ won for humankind in His sacrifice.

Good Friday leads us to focus on the death of the innocent. Perhaps as we pray today we will reflect on the crucifixion and will be aware, perhaps uncomfortably, of a resonance between the unjust death of Jesus and the many unjust deaths in our world.

We're all still profoundly shocked over the appalling loss of innocent lives in Belgium this week. Sadness exists just as it always has - the innocent are killed now just as then, either because they present a threat, or they are simply used as pawns or instruments of mankind's perversions. Innocent death provokes outrage, and with it a longing for justice and sometimes revenge.

The horrific events of the bombing of Brussels' Zaventem International Airport and
Maelbeek Metro Station repulse us on every conceivable level. The events are tragic enough without the grotesque marketing of horror by the news media.

We’ve become so accustomed to media interviewers sticking microphones into the faces of those whose loved ones have been unjustly killed and asking "what do you feel?" This always seems so perverse and tasteless - we know what the injured must feel, and it seems cheap to expose their feelings of outrage and hostility just for our entertainment. And yet perhaps we want the interviewer to ask, because we’ve come to believe that only by expressing hatred the living can do justice to the innocent dead. We crave for the bereaved to be angry and implacable.

We even use religion to sanctify these feelings. In medieval times Good Friday was a day when Christian mobs assaulted the Jews because the Gospels said their ancestors were to blame for the death of Jesus. But if that is what Good Friday is about then The Christian Church is no better than the mobs.

The point of this day is not that Christians become incited about the Crucifixion and vow to destroy Christ’s enemies. It’s a day for repentance and worship.

What does that say to the innocent deaths in Belgium, Syria, Moldova, Ukraine, America, and all the other personal horrifying murders we know about and mourn for? Is it only the bereaved who must speak for the dead? What would happen if the dead came back and spoke for themselves? And what does it say about those who had killed them, about us? Would they come back in spirit? Would they return seeking revenge, or would they bring us a message of forgiveness and reconciliation from God?

It’s an important question because on Good Friday Christianity calls us to see death - all death - through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. The dead are gathered into Christ in their dying and the Christian hope is that they are given back to us in His resurrection.

When Jesus returned from death He came both bearing the marks of the cross, and bringing the forgiveness of sins. He offered the same peace to those wh
o loved Him and to those who had betrayed Him. Could we allow the innocent dead to bring us peace this Easter?

Christ, our Lord, our world is in darkness. Without You all our hopes and dreams, and all that we are, and all that we are yet to be, becomes nothing. Come into us Lord Christ, our Saviour, so that we may be filled with Your Holy light. Amen

Írásos Bill atya gyűjteményéből. Imádkozunk az egészsége. LR

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