An Easter Reflection on a Good Friday Question

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23.34)

Christ Crucified, Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)

Tho’ they –

the feckless Pilate,
the righteous religious opposition,
the soldiers following orders,
the crowds whose breath was all “Crucify Him!” –

knew (or had to know, did they not?) that they were killing Him;

I wonder: did they,
I wonder, too, do we
ever truly know what we are doing?

For is there not alway much,
too much
outside of us,
thus, beyond our command or control,
for any (one) of us
ever to say of ourselves
(tho’ to – striving, struggling to convince – ourselves we might dare to say)
“I know what I am doing”?

And is there not alway much,
too much
inside of us
(here, I consider our vast unconsciousness)
beyond the sure reach and grasp of our willful hand
(thus, we speak or act or not
alway necessarily without knowing fully
what we have said or done or not
and the, our effect on others)?

And who among us
can discern and dictate
the boundaries –
the beginnings
and the endings –
of the consequences of what we say or do or not?

Aye, He was, is right.

Neither they
nor we –

who, as they
(for all we are human,
per the spiritual’s knowing question,
for which there alway is but one answer),
“were there when they crucified our Lord” –

know what we are doing.

Thus, we need forgiveness.
All. of. the. time.

Thank God He knew what He was doing.
For in dying, then rising, we are forgiven.


Illustration: Christ Crucified, Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)

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