Not a Happy Good FridayFriday, April 10, 2020
In the Book of Exodus, God helped the Israelites escape from slavery in ancient Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release the Israelite slaves. The last of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the English name of the holiday.
I will never understand those who write in social media, “Happy Good Friday”.
One of the fundamental Roman Catholic sacraments, third in line in order of adoption (and even a jazz standard by Charlie Parker) after baptism and first communion is confirmation. This sacrament makes the confirmand (I am one) be responsible for being a defender of the faith. This does not imply that one must pick up a sword. What it means is that the confirmand must study Roman Catholic doctrine in order to explain it to anybody who might enquire.
|Estado de México|
Passover is an important feast for those of the Jewish faith but if you understand its origin you will realize that it is not a happy one for would-be Egyptians of old. The dying of their firstborns was to be repeated in the account in the New Testament of King Herod being paranoid about a baby who was to become King of the Jews.
It is my point here not to proselytize or rant of this religion versus another. My purpose is to explain that within the questionable logic behind most religions (consider the Holy Trinity of one God with three distinct persons) is that if one studies them one is surely to become more tolerant of them all.
My grandmother who was born in the 19th century and was educated in Spain brought with her all sort of racist and religious views even though she was an avid Roman Catholic church goer. As a little boy I had to contrast her view that the Jews had killed Christ with that of a round-faced Capuchin monk who stopped my friend Mario Hertzberg and me on the street in Buenos Aires to ask us if we went to church. I told him that I did but that my friend didn’t because he was Jewish. The monk with a big smile on his face said, “You both worship the same God.”
That was a lesson I never forgot. To this day I keep my religious beliefs to myself as I consider them private.
But it is difficult for me to forget Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C.’s theology class in the late 50s in Austin, in which he told us of Aritstotle’s unmoved mover as one of the first philosophic definitions of god.
In this Good Friday, a silent one more than ever, I find it appropriate to reminisce and delve into my religious and spiritual past to help me bring an understanding and even order to the events that occupy us now to the point of obsession.