Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
“Behold, the man!” (Jn 19:5)
Jesus was “accustomed to infirmity.” (Is 53:3) He came among us, he suffered hunger, he suffered rejection, he suffered violence. He became weak and vulnerable for us. So much so that the prophet Isaiah says, “many were amazed at him, so marred were his features beyond those of mortals.” (Is 52:14) Those who saw him, those who see him, can only gape at this man.
When one sees such physical sufferings, he would expect also to see people try to come and relieve his suffering. But no one comes. “He was spurned and avoided by men, like one from whom you turn your face.” (Is 53:3) If not even his closest followers come to his aid, if even they have denied him, what reason would others have for showing pity? If this man has no more friends, maybe it is for a reason…
“Yet it was our infirmities that he bore…” (Is 53:4) There is a reason why this man suffers, a reason why he has no more friends, and the reason is not him. We are the reason. All of this self-emptying is for us. Such is his love. When we behold him, we can only be amazed. The Church herself today is in a state of silent amazement and grief. When the ministers gather in church today, they enter in silence and they fall on their faces before the altar in silence. After the reading of Jesus’ death we all kneel in silence. All we can do is behold him, behold the one who takes away the sins of the world.