Friday, April 6, 2007

The Alpha and Omega

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion 2007
Mass Readings
Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1—19:42

Today we celebrate the most somber of our Holy Days. Today we remember that event which brought us our Salvation, the crucifixion of our Lord. We quiet ourselves and we reflect upon the horrifying sacrifice Jesus made so that we can live.

Sitting in the church last night I was amazed by the contrast between the glorious Holy Thursday, The Mass of the Lord's supper and the stark, somber celebration of Good Friday. We gave praise to God last night in song and the washing of feet. Today we gather in quiet and simplicity. So powerful is what we celebrate today that no song or instrument can lift us above the horrible scene of the crucifixion. The horrible torture and death of our Lord. But that is not the end for tomorrow night we celebrate the amazing Easter Vigil!

I want to focus upon two simple words that Jesus speaks in our Gospel today. Jesus' quiet and humble voice shatters the power of sin. What are those words? I AM. We remember these words because spoke them to Moses in the desert. Jesus proclaims that he is the beginning and the end. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three in one, is the uncaused first cause. God is the beginning, God is the end. Yet for God time isn't the same thing as it is for us. We are a linear creation. We live in 'kronos' (chronos) time while God exists in 'kairos' time. There are no 24 hour days for God. There is no chronological time for God. God is everything! God exists beyond time and space. And here Jesus presents himself as the physical manifestation of all that was, is, and will be. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's love!

It is impossible to fully wrap our heads around the power that is proclaimed by Jesus with those two simple words. The human tongue cannot truly proclaim the depths of Jesus' proclamation. What we can and do know is that Jesus, God the Son, screams into the face of sin and death and destroys it. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross renders sin and death powerless because nothing is or can be more powerful than God. Jesus is truly 'I AM'.

We look to Jesus' sacrifice this day and we give God the gratitude he so richly deserves.