Reflection for Good Friday

Reflection for Good Friday

The Lakotan legend goes that long, long ago, when the world was still young, a little star left its place in the heavens and took up residence in the heart of a cottonwood tree, just to be nearer humans, to hear and enjoy the sound of their music.

This charming legend holds a sacred truth: it is only the broken, bleeding branch that reveals the secret star.

There was once a man well connected to stars and trees. The story goes that when he was born, a star appeared, of such rare beauty and brightness, that those who looked at and learned from stars, knew that this Child was born with a special mission. They knew, too, that the star signified not just his birth but also foretold his death.
And so, among the gifts they gave him, was myrrh, traditionally used for embalming the dead; a strange gift for one so newly born.

The Child grew up and became the Man, devoted to his fathers’ business. At the work bench of his earthly father, he grew accustomed to wood and learned to fashion it into things good for life and love.

He left his woodwork the day he discovered that, deep within the depths of his being nestled a star whose light must shine. His heavenly father’s business then became his own.

As he trudged from town to town, a small, ragtag band of star-seekers at his heels, he carried the light of that special star to those who floundered in darkness. With it, he opened eyes born blind; penetrated and purified hearts steeped in sin; pierced the darkness of the tomb and drew the dead to light and life once more.

Those who had eyes saw his wonders and were never the same again. But the people who persisted in darkness could not bear the beauty and candour of the light that shone from the heart of the Man.

They doubted and feared its power. They wanted nothing of its pure, white fire.
And they arranged, that Friday long ago, that someone, somewhere, work a piece of wood by hand, especially for him. Upon that wood, they nailed him fast with the tools of his own trade, and sliced him open to bleed slowly to his death.

But those who had eyes saw that, there, in that opened, broken heart, the star still  lay, now exposed to human view, its light undimmed, undiminished by cruel death. And they saw that the cross on which he died had sprouted and grown into the Tree of Life.

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