“He has no form nor comeliness; and we saw him, but he had no form nor beauty. But his form was ignoble, and inferior to that of the children of men; he was a man in suffering, and acquainted with the bearing of sickness, so that his face was turned away: he was dishonoured, and not esteemed. He bears our sins, and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement/teaching of our peace (παιδεία εἰρήνης ἡμῶν) was upon him; and by his bruises we were healed. All we as sheep (ὡς πρόβατα) have gone astray; every one has gone astray in his way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins. And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep (ὡς πρόβατον) to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is voiceless, so he opens not his mouth. In his humility his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken away from the earth: because of the iniquities of my people he was led to death.” (Is 53: 2b-8, Septuagint-translation)
Not just some of us, but “all we” have gone astray, “as sheep.” Not just Judas, or Pilate, or the Jews or Roman soldiers or riled-up crowds in the Gospel-narratives about Christ’s passion. That’s why we are all “ex-communicated” today, with no Liturgy celebrated on this Holy and Great Friday. But today the God-Man, as one of us, “as a sheep,” paves the Way back for us, allowing Himself to be led “in His humility” along the Way of the Cross.
Today, as we weep with the Church at the foot of our Lord’s cross, I say thank You, Lord. Thank You for going through it all, through our darkness and death and hell, that we may have a Way out of there, into new life and light, in You. Let me embrace Your new Way today, once again, the Way of the Cross, in humility and gratitude for You. Let me walk through things responsibly, rather than avoid them, through denial, wishful thinking, or self-centered fear. “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.” A blessed Holy Friday to you, dear friends! Please tune in to our daily, weekday “Morning Coffee” audio-podcasts, for some daily inspiration on our journey through this Coronavirus epidemic! Join our ca. 500 faith-inspired subscribers at: patreon.com/sistervassa. Love from Vienna, and please wash your hands & take heart, Sister Vassa