Friday, March 25, 2016

Resounding Refrain


Friday of the Passion of the Lord
Celebration of the Passion of the Lord

Picture: cc sean dreilinger

My dear friends, do you know what a refrain is? I’m sure you do. It’s that part of a song that keeps getting repeated. Over and over again. Usually, it’s something that the composer wants to emphasise. Well, if you were to compose a song today. A song about the Mystery we are celebrating. A song about the Passion of the Lord. What would you choose to emphasise? How would you phrase your refrain?

For a start, perhaps we could first consider what to put into the verses of our song. This shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s a song about the Passion of the Lord. So one way to do it is simply to include the events that happened. All that the Lord did between Holy Thursday evening and Easter Sunday morning. Or, more importantly, all that he allowed to be done to him.

We might begin by singing of his arrest in the Garden. Of how he submitted, even though he could have run away. Or incited his disciples to resist. To meet violence with violence. For he was able to make his enemies fall down. Simply by saying I am he. Yet, he refused to resist. He submitted humbly. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given? And he protected his friends. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go…

We could sing also of his so-called trial. First before the Jewish authorities, and then the Roman governor. We could sing of how his enemies went all out to kill him. Even when Pilate could find no case. Of how, though innocent, Jesus submitted himself. First to mockery and torture. And then to condemnation and death. O, the injustice of it all. The injustice, and the shame. We could also sing of how he died. With his flesh torn and tattered. But his spirit unbroken and unbowed. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.… It is accomplished…

All these things we could include in our song. But what of the refrain? I’m not sure what you think, sisters and brothers. But I’m drawn to these words from the first reading: We thought of him as someone punished… by God. Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins… These words tell me not just what the Lord endured. But why he endured it. He did it for me…

He did it to help me do what the second reading encourages me to do. To never let go of the faith we have professed. But to be confident… in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help…. He did it to give me hope. He did it for me…

I’m reminded of these words from another song about the Passion. I think you know it: Were you there when they crucified my Lord…. Were you there when they nailed him to a tree…. Sometimes it causes me to tremble… To tremble, when I remember that he did it for me. He did it all for me…

He did it for me. This is my refrain. Something that needs to be repeated over and over again. And not just with my lips. But also especially with my life. He did it for me… He did it for me…

My dear friends, what must we do to let this refrain resound, in hearts and in our world, in the days ahead?

1 comment:

  1. "He did it for me... He died for me - He gave up His life for me.."

    Let this be my song, let this refrain keep on ringing in my mind and heart as I recall the depth of God's love for me..

    Let this be a heartfelt experience of God and His love for me - let the love of God be deeply etched in my heart and in my being - let it not be just a superficial memory which fades with time..

    O Lord of the Passion, let me never forget all that You are and all that You had done for me. Let me express my gratitude to You by the way I live my NEW LIFE in You. Amen.

    Sih Ying
    Good Friday 2016

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