Last week we buried Francesco Santoro. This week we bury Jim Carriere.
This week, their widows and children face the challenge of their lives turned upside down while the world continues its own way. So, it is for us, our lives are turned upside down by unemployment, sickness, betrayal, or death and the world keeps on at business as usual.
This is our Holy Week. This is our Week of Passion. The cost of the exchange that set us free is being paid.
Jesus Christ empties himself and takes on the very worst part of who we are – the sins that follow from our displacing God from our lives and making ourselves the idols that we are. He takes on the very wreck of humanity fouled by gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, envy, and wrath – a humanity wracked by war, possessed by Satan, and torn apart by division.
Jesus empties Himself and though without sin He accepts the consequences that our sins entail.
The Innocent God-made-Man endures the punishments of the guilty God-denying-humanity.
Not only the sufferings Isaiah foretold with a back beaten, cheeks plucked of beard, face covered with spittle,
But even more humiliating punishment is His: shaming nakedness, mindless beating, torturing crucifixion, and absolute isolation…
The punishment I deserve, we deserve.
And still the Roman world, the Jewish world, the natural world seemed to continue in its own way. Business as usual.
Echoing today as through Eternity Jesus cries out, a slave on a Cross, in the God-empty abyss of lovelessness that is sin.
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
And the stores are still open. Armies still move. Labour still is engaged. Social media grinds on. Schools open. The world will continue on its way this week. Business as usual.
And for us? Will this be a week like any other?
This drama, this death was for one reason only – Love for each of us, Love for all of us –
our punishment exchanged for divinity –
Guilt exchanged for glory
Error exchanged for authority
Godlessness exchanged for Being-like-God within God …
The price is paid – will we accept the exchange?
Will we savour the gift or will it be business as usual?