Good Friday brings opportunities to reflect on the Passion story and, while it is a familiar narrative to me, sometimes something new comes to mind.
This morning the walk of witness down Cowley Road was very well attended. It wasn’t the dramatic retelling of the story that had been planned but it was very well attended. However, it was the Stations of the Cross event at St Francis church on Hollow Way where a fresh thought struck me. I realised how many people were in pain the day Jesus was murdered on the crucifixion cross.
Certainly many went about their daily business (this kind of thing was common in Roman-occupied Judea, hardly a noteworthy spectacle any more) and others mocked and scorned the failed upstart. Among the crowds though were some who cared, some who helped, some who wept. The traditional stations include Mary (the mother of Jesus), Simon of Cyrene, Veronica (not a figure from the gospel narratives but deeply embedded in the tradition), unnamed women of Jeresalem and others. Some stepped forward to offer what crumbs of comfort they could.
Jesus was the focus but not the sole locus of the cruel pain suffered that day. Even in the fragmented day of his dying, the community of believers was nascent. Roll away the stone and roll on Easter!