Jesus is laid to rest

Stations of the Cross

The first thing I think of is, “it is finished” and I say, thank God!!  The suffering is ended.

Near Uspantan, Guatemala, Juan Alonso Fernandez MSC. Shot in the hand, knocked off his motorcycle, pushed down the slope into a gully, tortured, forced to crouch on a rock shelf, shot three times in the head.  I stood there in a kind of shock. Waiting for something. We went up on top of the rocky ledge to the memorial they put there and prayed together. I was deeply moved to tears. And like a voice in me said, “It’s finished now he is free. It’s done”. It was not a voice saying it was okay that he suffered, but that he faced it, and passed through it, and he has come through it.

I remembered my own sufferings in life and how I passed through them. My suffering was nothing like the self-sacrifice of Juan. But I know the sense of “it is over. It’s done”.

I think of the people suffering, in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Mozambique, Tigray, the Uyghurs, the Rakhine and Karen minorities in Myanmar, the oppressed of Hong Kong, North Korea, thousands of victims shot dead in the war on drugs under the direction of the former Philippines President.

I think of the resilience of the human spirit in the midst of violence against the body, soul, and mind. I pray that they may all find rest. That all this violence may end. And maybe then we can celebrate – “it is over. Basta.”