VARIATIONS ON A GOOD FRIDAY STORY
|I'll do it! I'll do it!|
March 2016, Good Friday celebration in San Luis Petén, Guatemala.
The highlight of Good Friday in San Luis, as in most Guatemalan towns, is the live re-enactment of the Way of the Cross as part of a long procession during which the statues of Jesus, His Blessed Mother, Mary Magdalen and the Apostle John are carried over beds of flowers, color sawdust, and even fruit. All the people of the town take part in it either as actors, carriers or spectators.
The youth organizations were in charge of the live Way of the Cross, putting their heart and soul into creating a realistic scene at every station while following a very precise script.
Then it happened. The narrator intoned: “Fifth Station, Simon of Cyrene is made to carry the cross.” On cue, a “Roman officer” shouts the order to his cohorts: “find someone to help Jesus of Nazareth carry the cross!”
But before the “soldiers” had time to grab the reluctant “helper,” a voice rose from the crowd: “I will do it! I will do it!” and, to everyone’s surprise, a young country girl came forward and picked up the cross.
She faced the “soldiers” and stood her grounds. And the Way of the Cross moved on to its deathly conclusion refreshed by this simple and spontaneous act of faith and compassion.
It lifted my soul.