Facing the Cross: Can all be Well?
This meditation has two parts, with a space in between. Between the two parts is time for you to read quietly and slowly for yourself one of the gospel accounts of the crucifixion.
Choose one of these:
Matthew 27. 32-61, Mark 15.21-47, Luke 23.26-56, John 19.16-42
You may wish to give yourself about half and hour for this process.
Facing the Cross: Can all be well?
Julian requests of God: ‘a vivid perception of Jesus’ Passion’.
‘…it seemed to me that I could feel the Passion of Christ to some extent, but yet I longed by God’s grace to feel it more strongly. I thought how I wished I had been there at the crucifixion with Mary Magdalene and with others who were Christ’s dear friends, and therefore I longed to be shown him in the flesh so that I might have more knowledge of our saviour’s bodily suffering and of our Lady’s fellow-suffering and that of all his true friends who then saw his pain; I wanted to be one of them and suffer with him. … I begged for this so that after the showing I would have a truer perception of Christ’s passion.’ (Chapter 2)
As you ponder your own engagement with the passion of Jesus this Good Friday, notice your own desire. In what way and for what reasons do you want to engage with his crucifixion today? Let this become your prayer – your asking for God’s grace as you enter into the crucifixion narrative.
Julian hears from Jesus, the deep love he expressed through his passion
‘How should I not do all that I can for love of you? For doing do does not grieve me, since I would die for you so often with no concern for my bitter pain. ’
And here I saw… the love that made him suffer is as much greater than his pain as heaven is above the earth. (Chapter 22)
If the suffering is caused by sin, why does there need to be sin?
“it seemed to me that if there had been no sin, we should all have been pure and as like our Lord as he created us. And so in my folly before this time I often wondered why, through the great prescient wisdom of God, the beginning of sin was not prevented. For then it seemed to me that all would have been well.
Jesus, who in this vision informed me about everything needful to me, answered with these words and said ‘Sin is behovely, but all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well’.
I saw hidden in God and exalted and wonderful mystery, which he will make pain and we shall know in heaven. (Chapter 27)
As you reflect on the Crucifixion, the pain and suffering, the love and compassion in it, notice where you are still to be drawn into accepting the ‘behoveliness’ of it all and the possibility that ‘all manner of thing shall be well’.