Good Friday: WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?)

Stamina. I am grateful that the weekend is one day longer for me due to Good Friday. However, I am losing momentum in terms of getting work done and I know that I need to turn this around to get back on track. I just need to get past these two weeks and with constant prayers, I do believe that I can.

The gospel reading tells us the passion of the Lord’s suffering and pain as the crowd condemned him to death. Even though Jesus must have felt a deep sense of betrayal and anguish, he still went through them all without complaint nor hatred. While going through the Lord’s passion, I ask myself this question, “What Would Jesus Do?” It is a simple yet thought provoking question as despite the unfortunate and hopeless situation, Jesus still accepted his fate and never once tried to get out from it. That is the definition of humility and sacrifice which is so hard to emulate because if it were me, I would have fought against the people, but Jesus did not.

Now, the Lord’s passion is not just an ancient story but the scenarios are happening in real time today. “This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me? (John 18:1-19-42).” In situations where we see injustice or unfair treatment, we would always wish woe to those involved; however, Jesus teaches us to not resort to violence but to exercise the grace of forgiveness and acceptance.

“Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”He said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm (John 18:1-19-42).” This message is relatable even today as at times, we do not want to associate ourselves with religion or even with Jesus. These are times where we feel faraway from the Church and Jesus because of our sins and unworthiness. We are so caught up in the pursuit of success or appraisal that we lose sight of Jesus.

Jesus invites us to come back to Him and the cross that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus with His arms outstretched speaks volumes of not only sacrifice but a welcome to those who feel lost or defeated back to the fold.

So Pilate said to him,”Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?”Jesus answered him,”You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,  “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar (John 18:1-19-42).” These are some of the words that we utter to Jesus in our prayers to try to arm twist him into giving us what we want. But have we thought of the things that Jesus wants of us? Or do we give in to the whims and fancies of the world?

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple,”Behold, your mother.”And from that hour the disciple took her into his home (John 18:1-19-42).” Have we been aware of the needs of others around us? Jesus invites us to open our hearts and to take those who feel unwanted by society into our lives and to be there for others. Being there for others is so important as your physical presence could matter alot to people.

I invite my dear readers to go back and take a closer look at the gospel to look at the things that speak out to us and take some time to reflect on these passages. The outstretched arms of Jesus is not a mere sign of defeat but a sign of welcome where he invites those who have strayed far to come back. Jesus saves and His passion is the ultimate sign of His love for us sinners. Jesus continues to save us today.

I love to watch films and during this Holy Week, there are a few shows other than The Passion of Christ that we could view. These films are Killing Jesus and Fireproof that depicts acts of mercy. Even more so, it shows that our Catholic faith is still very much alive and relevant in the world today.

May we continue to pray and reflect on the things that have happened in our lives during Holy Week and be grateful for the good that has happened and pray for the things that did not turn out the way we would like. For no matter what happens, Jesus loves us very much and as we ask “What would Jesus do?”, we ask ourselves,”What can we do for Jesus?” Amen.

To end off this post, may we continue to ponder on the Lord’s passion as we await His resurrection to bring this darkened world out of darkness through this hymn, “Were You There?.”

For we will rise again with Jesus for the snares of the grave is only temporary. Eternal life awaits!

“Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

 

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