This week, Mother Alice invites us into tactile, embodied implications of Jesus on the cross.
From a young age, society encourages us to show strength. Maintaining constant narratives of strength and triumph is a fast track to spiritual and physical exhaustion.
The truth is hiding in plain sight: we’re all extremely vulnerable. During Holy Week, we’re reminded that God doesn’t take away our vulnerability, but that God enters into it.
The stories of Holy Week remind us that in Jesus, God lived through physical and psychological suffering. In Jesus, God entered into a disfigured body and a disabled body. In the book “We Cry Justice: Reading The Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign”, Letiah Fraser observes
“The disabled God is consonant with the image of Jesus Christ: the stigmatized Jew, the person of color, the representative of the poor and hungry. This disabled God identifies with those who have struggled to maintain the integrity and dignity of their bodies in the face of the physical mutilation of injustice and rituals of bodily degradation.”
To draw near to Jesus during Holy Week week is to experience God’s presence with the world now, today, in real lives and real bodies, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Real strength can be found admitting that our communities, minds and bodies desperately need the life that Jesus lived – that is, healing and feeding people – and the life that Jesus died. Real strength comes to us through the loving, tender mercy of Jesus on the cross.