Good Friday: How I may have played a part

Reflection for the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion. Year B. 2018
– By Fr Ugo Ikwuka
Archway, London


Little Johnny was failing all his exams in a public school so his parents decided to send him to a Catholic school. At the end of the year Johnny came out top of his class. When his amazed parents asked Johnny what happened he replied: “You see, the moment I stepped into that new school and saw they had a guy hanging on the cross, I knew they were damned serious so I couldn’t take any chances.”

Friends, in the passion of Christ which we read this Good Friday, we hear as the mob shouted at the top of their voice: “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify Him!”

Indeed, what caused a people to demand the death of a man they had admired, a man they had seen work miracles, a man that was innocent of any crime is simply that he stands on their way.

They are uncomfortable with his views that challenge their way of life hence they had to get him out of the way.

But, isn’t that a very familiar attitude? Isn’t that what we seek when we compromise behaviour and standards? Isn’t that what we do when we ‘close our eyes’ and do evil? “Away with him!” while I cheat. “Away with him” while I deal cruelly with people. Away with him while I do my thing! How regarded is Christ in our everyday dealings?

We have done away with God in our systems and institutions; in business, in government, in marriages, in homes, in schools, yes even in our churches!

Disturbingly, we may already be under judgment for some of these choices. Recently a teacher in Florida insisted that a child shouldn’t read the bible in class during free reading time. That’s a book that tells you ‘thou shalt not kill, love your neighbour as yourself.’ In America today, we are asking why our children are trigger happy, why they have no remorse or conscience, why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and even themselves.

Judgment doesn’t always come in the form of a flood, fire or an earthquake. In fact, most often judgment comes when God lets men have it their way.

Man says, “Away with Him! Away with Him!” and it gets to the point where God says, “Have it your way.” And every one does what appeals to them. But God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap! (Galatians 6:7).

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