Year A - Good Friday or Annihilation Friday
April 18, 2014
What is our confession, our affirmation? It is not that we have a High Priest who will make such for us.
Jesus did not presume upon his privilege to escape travail (a three-stake implement of torture). It is too easy to interpret non-presumption as obedience. This sort of decision is not just an act of obedience. It takes a mature person able to enter into the decision to not escape and to make it their own.
Note that in our day we also see that participatory maturity can be seen, instead, as fanaticism—the difference is between how wonderful we are in our maturity and how dastardly they are in their terrorism. While not wanting to equate these two, our major use of this sort of language is to privilege ourselves with the moral high ground of good obedience, not bad obedience.
Obedience learned through suffering is provisional or foxhole obedience. When the trauma is over, so is the obedience. It turns to unquestioning rote or the relief of disobedience. This type of obedience really can’t be healthily passed on. It establishes a do-as-I-say-because-I-say-it relationship.
Perhaps it is enough to simply say, the one we follow as partner is one who can sympathize with weakness even as they can lead us to love beyond our limits. These two actions complement one another and set the ground for transformation.