Let us be God bearers

2018, Passion Friday. Maria Skobtsova House in Calais, France.
Drop, drop slow tears…
Orlando Gibbons tender hymn, so fitting for today. The tears of Mary Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet. It also echoes in our walking with Jesus to his death on a cross today.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice saying, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ With these words he breathed his last.

His still warm, but lifeless body is taken down from the cross. A body too big to hold in one’s lap, broken, bruised, bloody and dirty.
As in Michelangelo’s Pieta, any mother would do the same, she would take her beloved child’s body. Her body, blood and broken heart, into her arms. She would tenderly hold it, caress the wounds, kiss it, sing a lullaby and whisper words of love.

Somewhere in Eritrea there is a mother whose name we will not know, whose grief we will not see. She has her own Passion Friday. Her beloved son has died. She doesn’t know about it yet, but one day soon, a zinc casket will arrive carrying the remains of a son who walked for miles, crossed deserts and seas. Away, far, far from home, in search of a better life. He is lifeless and cold, and her Pieta is emptyhanded.

Today his friends have arrived to travel to the mortuary. Can we see his whole body, they ask. They can see only his face, and are told, that it is best not to see more. Perhaps, when they were left alone to mourn, to pray, they opened the white bag and lovingly touched their friend, who is, and is no more among the living. And with this they entrusted him into the loving arms of God.

Drop, drop slow tears…
Let us wrap His body in fine linen, let us carry Him gently to a fresh grave.
Let us stay with Him in silence and nothingness.
Let us be God bearers, in living and dying, hoping in the Resurrection and the Life everlasting.

by Arta Skuja

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