Good Friday

b&w Southern Italy procession

Roccella Ionica (RC), 1976, l’Affrontata. By Fiore S. Barbato

at the airport

Schipol Airport by Alex Griffioen

Always a perceivably special day.

Maybe the key to my living it as something special is contrast, for the very reason that we are surrounded by people who ignore it: to them it’s just a day like another.

God is dead, no Eucharist is celebrated today.

The church remains empty, after the triumph of flowers and candles that surrounded the Most Blessed Sacrament since Thursday.

The Via Crucis rite had an attendance of 7, including the priest’s striped cat who sneaked in.

Come on, I’m not that old, when I was a child I remember my village as a place where the principal religious holidays were a big community event.

But after all, the Passion has to bear this kind of marks. Jesus is left alone on the cross, abandoned by everyone. They are scared, or maybe they are minding many other important businesses, or they simply don’t understand.

You gaze at a clear sky, the sun is high, yet you feel the cold in your bones. Passion is suffering.

Jesus asking us to bear our cross every day. What an unpopular idea. Those Catholics, always masochistically embracing pain.

Yet there must be some way to find a meaning in our sorrows. Pains life bestows on you anyway, even if you try to rebel and escape to find some momentary, futile solace in short-lived pleasures.

Then comes death. Just a minimal symptom of health disorder is enough to make you rethink your place in life: sometimes your body subtly hints that things are not going smoothly… and you suddenly realize that death is not just an unpleasant thought to avoid, or a collection of unpleasant memories from funerals past. Not even an abstract, hard concept applied to that distant, odd guy on the cross.

What if I’m next? A car accident, an unpredictable disease… What was I thinking, acting as if I was immortal? How many things did I postpone? What would be my legacy in this world?

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