Friday, 6 April 2012

Witnessing the Passion of Our Lord

Today Lent reaches its climax. For the past six weeks we have fasted, watched and prayed with the Lord. We have heard the call to repentance, we have humbly brought ourselves before God, again and again, asking Him for mercy. And today, in the bright, glaring sunshine we saw the price of our redemption, we saw our ransom paid in full, we watched and prayed as Jesus took our sins upon Himself and reconciled us to God.

Today, ably led by our Confirmation candidates, we walked with Him on His painful journey to Golgotha...

...and joined the United Walk of Witness to the Carfax to pray with our fellow Christians...

...but what made the day so powerful, what made Our Lord's sacrifice really hit home was the Liturgy of the Passion this afternoon. There's something so striking as you walk into the Church with the Sanctuary stripped to the bare bones, the Tabernacle naked and flung open. It's so harsh, in a way brutal, it begins to awaken us to what today is, to the truth of Christ's suffering. And from that first glimpse onwards we are plunged into the very heart of Our Lord's sacrifice, we become a real part of it as we read the part of the crowd in the Gospel and turn back to Him in profound gratitude and love as we kneel and venerate His cross. But as we all quietly leave the Church there is this wonderful sense of hope and anticipation, even though He has been laid in the tomb, we know this is not the end and that after Good Friday always comes Easter Sunday.

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