The Way of the Cross – Reflection of Archbishop Farrell

The Way of the Cross – Reflection of Archbishop Farrell

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Way of the Cross
Reflection of Archbishop Dermot Farrell

Phoenix Park, Dublin
Good Friday, March 29, 2024

Today is Good Friday. Those people who believe in a Christian God remember the day his Son, his messenger, went to his death with cries: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34). Jesus goes to his death abandoned by all, and God is silent.

Perhaps we should spend a few moments pondering the hard questions. How does God allow bad things to happen? Why is there so much suffering and pain? Why are we sad and lonely some times? How is it that some people rise to positions of power who seem to have no regard for human life? In our world we see death and destruction all around; we cannot avoid the inhumanity of the war in Gaza and the plight of asylum seekers on our city streets. With sighs that we cannot be put into words, we feel the pain of those who are enduring war, man-made famine, and destruction at the hands of corrupt leaders and heartless regimes.

The casual act of Pilate makes things worse as we look on. We recognise that human trait when people seem to wash their hands of us and walk away when we need them most. This too is the plight of asylum seekers and refugees when we abandon to their fate those who lack even the most basic requirements for human dignity. When severe weather struck recently it was alarming that distinctions were made between different categories of people living on the streets based on legal niceties rather than basic humanity.

We turn our backs on them washing away our responsibilities under law, or when we reject our Christian calling to be like the Good Samaritan whose compassion was boundless.

Jesus is at one with us in that feeling of abandonment, of betrayal and disappointment. Yet, he is the one who even in his suffering and abandonment can find space in his heart for others. When we are in a lonely place, it is important for us to recognise that the cross of suffering became the cross of glory. It is difficult to hold on to that hope when everything seems to be going against us. Sometimes we fail to see the kind messages of support, the thoughtful cards, the generous offers of practical help. We are never alone. The Risen Lord is always at work among us, bringing something new to be experienced, embraced and lived.