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Good Friday
Jesus’ life was no easy one.  We know his humble beginnings in Bethlehem, his simple life in Nazareth, his family and occupational background, at least from hints given to us in Scriptures.  Jesus was a working man, like his foster father, St. Joseph. 
As a budding preacher, Jesus started out poor and simple too.  No place to lay his head.  No support from the powerful.  No screaming, adoring fans.  In fact, as he preached, Jesus gained, alongside admirers, many enemies for exposing the truth. As he spread his message, do did these adversaries spread their revilement of his reputation and good name.
This mounting suspicion, anger and hatred led Jesus to where he is now on Good Friday afternoon.  He is now hanging on a cross, wounded, bruised and broken.  The epitome of the Good is now crucified for speaking of love and being himself that same love.
We are drawn to this annual liturgy of Good Friday for a number of reasons but I surmise, for one reason that tops the others.  In revisiting Calvary, we can see ourselves in the Lord’s own sufferings and pains.
Isn’t life too, often not easy for us? Look at all the struggles within our families.  Remember the problems in your workplace.  Recall the hostile faces that haunt you each day. See the hosts of problems that punctuate every waking day in these troubled times.  Young and old do not have things easy for them anymore. Like Jesus, many times, we feel we are crucified many, many times.
But looking at Jesus on the Cross, we wonder what really made this experience difficult?  And as I reflect on it, I came to a simple conjecture.  I think the most painful emotional burden of the Crucified Lord was the mockery he received.  From the day of his arrest to the last moments of his life, he heard no affectionate address. Instead he was continuously mocked.
There were three forms of mockery Jesus received on the Cross, while awaiting his death. 
First, there was the mockery of the religious people.  These people believe that they were experts in everything that pertained to God.  Jesus, coming in God’s name, was not someone they recognized and understood.  This is the most painful, I think, of the mockeries Jesus received. “He came to his own but his own received him not.”
Why is it that people who profess to be close to God, active in church, adept at discerning the Scriptures are also the ones most easily to judge and condemn others they do not understand or do not even know personally?  What gives us, church people, the courage to disparage others? Are we greater than they are?  Are we more perfect than these people? Are we sinless so that we can clearly see the sin of our neighbor?
Second, there was the mockery of the bystanders.  These people were really not interested in Jesus at all.  They were not involved in his life.  Sure, they must have heard about him.  But that is the closest they ever got to knowing the Man. Indifferent all throughout Jesus’ life, now suddenly, they have become enthusiastic. 
Let’s see some proof of your power. Why don’t you come down from the cross?  We are here to see you work another miracle. If you satisfy us, then we will follow you!
So many people are like that today.  They have no personal experience of anger or pain that others were said to have caused, but they just want to be relevant somehow.  They want to be infected by the anger of others, by the complaint of others, by the experience of others.  And they form their judgment from afar.  They mock people even if they do not really know what events truly transpired. Bystanders can be very unjust.
Lastly, there was the mockery of the thief. He was understandably angry at the world. He was guilty of something seriously wrong but he has no humility to accept his fault.  Yes he was blaming everybody else, except himself. To deviate attention from himself, he points his finger on the one he thinks can absorb his sin.
When we mock others, when we destroy their good name, when we accuse them, are we thinking that we are really not like them?  We hate something in the other person, and yet, do we not have the same trait in ourselves? The thief was so angry with Jesus when in fact he should be angry with himself.  Because of this he forfeited his chance to repentance and transformation.
In our day, the pains of Jesus are multiplied, because we continue to mock God in the person of our neighbor. They may be innocent or sinful, but we have no right to judge others.
The nails killed Jesus body by releasing a torrent of blood from his veins and asphyxiating him of precious oxygen.  But the mockery killed the very heart of Jesus. It was the mockery that brought him his most profound sadness.  It was mockery that planted the spear right into the heart of the sorrowful Mother of God.
The cross was the locus of the death of the Son of God. Mockery delivered the final blow.
This Good Friday, let us think of the people who mock us, the people whose words wounded our souls, whose silence pushed us away, whose actions crushed and defeated us.  May we learn to forgive them as Jesus did. May we learn to lean on God and draw strength from Jesus rather than listen to the poison of our detractors and oppressors.
But then let us look into our hearts as well.  Have we accused people of wrong without any proof?  Have we shunned others without any reason?  Have we become angry and condemnatory even if we have not experienced personally the charges we hurl at them?  Have we gossiped, contrived, connived with others in putting down any person just because we do not like them?
Then before the Cross, may we learn to say sorry.  And after this Good Friday, may the Lord help us to have an open heart, a heart loving and understanding towards our all people around us.  Amen.