There is one moment in the year when Christians around the world gather at the same hour, 3.00pm on Good Friday for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. This is one of the best attended liturgies in the year and it surprises and encourages me that people continue to come to this liturgy that seems to focus on death…
something to listen to:
Last night after the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper I was reflecting on the reality of suffering in human life. The suffering death and resurrection of Jesus gives all who experience suffering a meaning-filled and life-giving way forward.
I was thinking that it is strange that some of the most beautiful music ever composed is written on the theme of human suffering and especially the suffering of Jesus. You might like to take a few moments to savour one of the most widely appreciated passion compositions, Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus at this link.
something to read:
A quotation from the NZ bishops’ 2010 Pastoral Reflection on Suffering. Full text at this link.
“When Romano Guardini wrote of suffering as a shoreless ocean that surged in on Jesus, he emphasised that Jesus made no attempt to eradicate all suffering. Jesus was not a social reformer, intent on ridding the world of its aches and pains. He had another agenda altogether. He neither ignored suffering nor fled from it. Rather he entered into suffering, his own and the sufferings of others. In this way he exposed the mystery of suffering as a positive healing gift. When we embrace suffering, encounter and befriend it, we can experience an amazing transformation. The disease may not disappear, the heartbreak may not mend, the physical or emotional pain may still persist, but we discover an inner peace that changes attitudes of denial and anger to acceptance, patience and compassion. This healing can be so much richer than any actual cure.”