The core of Christianity is wrapped up in these three days called the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil (Saturday night). One misconception is that "Christianity = the Vatican." It does not. As St. John (3:16) says, "God so loved the world he sent his Son," not the Church! Jesus came with a message. The Church is established as a vehicle to carry that message and to preach it. But many times it has taken detours with serious consequences in history. That core message is embedded in these three, sacred days.
Today we experience our world in high-alert. We are more conscious of world violence. The Brussels attacks last week remind us of how the world has perceptively changed. The political tone in this country has something toxic in the air; things are different. Yet, we need to respond and we have no lack of "voices": military, diplomatic, or just ignore it. In this political cacophony, Christianity has its own voice and the core message is in the Triduum, the high point of the Church year.
GOOD FRIDAY: What is it about, really? Is it just a commemoration of an historical event or is it a commentary on our reality today? To say that "Jesus died for our sins" is more that what is popularly believed, as a sort of "ticket" into heaven. It has deeper meaning and connections.
Good Friday has other dimensions: it is the point where economics and politics-- those dimensions that secure the delivery system for the necessities of life in any society--intersect with faith. The Cross is the "voice" -- a Christian symbol of violence, from the domestic to the global. It is not just a symbol, however, it is a "question mark" to all of us: What is our response to violence, from hateful speech, the lie and contempt for truth to terrorism? The Cross interrogates our minds and hearts and asks for a response. If the Cross is the "question," what is the "answer"? If Christianity has no "answer" to world violence, then it shouldn't exist.
(Hint: What is Holy Thursday all about?)