A Good Friday Short Story
Black clouds billow across the bleak sky. Distant thunder rumbles
beyond Jerusalem. The sun dies overhead. Spiked through, Jesus hangs, bleeding,
chest heaving, gasping forgiveness to the murdering ilk gathered round beneath
Bitter laughter erupts to the left of Jesus. A thief’s hoarse voice
says, “Save yourself and us, Messiah!”
The last word oozes sarcasm even as another rivulet of blood drips down the
nose of Jesus.
“Enough, Uzzi—you blaspheming fool!” This strained voice comes from
Jesus’s right—the other thief. “Death deserved is ours, not his.” A deep
breath, then, “Jesus, my name … is Asa. Please …” Another breath. “Please remember
Messiah’s eyes creep right, find Asa there—a thief, yes, but penitent, grasping
forgiveness. A surge of life swells within Jesus, and he parts blood-wet, ragged
lips. Words come, haggard, whispered at first, unheard by either thief, but
then Messiah’s voice strengthens and smooth-spoken syllables follow:
It’s probably what I tell them every night before they go to bed, which is you can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it. Nothing’s given. Everything’s earned. God has equipped us for great works. I tell them that every night.
New Orleans Saints quarterback
in reply to a question about what he told his children after
he had set the all-time NFL passing yardage mark Oct. 8, 2018,
as reported on ChristianHeadlines.com and other sites
Extracts from a Thomas Merton essay,
“We Have to Make Ourselves Heard,”
first published in the June 1962 issue
of The Catholic Worker
It would be legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious people everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their tools and starve and be shot rather than cooperate in the war effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and in France, in Africa and in Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction….
From “The Gospel of Luke” in the book God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell (writer) and Shannon Wheeler (cartoonist):
As he slowly bled to death, it seemed like the whole world had gathered to ridicule Jesus. As he hung there dying, they beat and mocked Jesus for being so naive as to waste his time on pathetic and misguided ideas like forgiveness. For which he forgave them.