Out of pure love for humanity…out of pure love for you and for me… out of pure love for all… God set out on a sublime journey of migration from the heavens to the earth. God set out on this migration journey to give us life, abundant and eternal. God set out on this migration journey to give us a future with hope. The journey began when God’s own Son decided to empty himself, to take on the form of a slave, and to migrate from the heavens to the earth. He migrated to a place called Bethlehem. There he was born into this world in a barn where his loving parents received him. They named him Jesus, for he would save his people. His migration journey continued when his parents fled to Egypt escaping persecution, violence, and death. His migration journey saw him return home, out of which the Spirit would drive him into the wilderness to be tempted by the adversary. His migration journey would take him to places where people gathered daily. It was there that he was moved to compassion for the people, for they were as sheep without a shepherd. In his journey he approached those whom he would call to follow him. In his journey he would walk through Palestine bringing healing, liberation, and restoration to those he encountered. Jesus’ migration journey took him to proclaim the immediacy of God’s Kingdom, and to call all to believe and repent. His migration journey would take him to laugh with friends and dine with sinners. It would eventually take him to suffer betrayal and abandonment. It would take him to the unjust judgement and condemnation of the religious elite and the forces of empire. It would take him to suffer mockery and scorn. It would take him to be spat upon and flagellated. It would take him to be crowned with thorns. The zenith of his migration journey was found at mount Golgotha, the Place of a Skull, where he would be nailed to a cross to bleed and die for all.
Today is ‘Viernes Santo’ or ‘Good Friday.’’ As we solemnly remember the zenith of God’s migration journey, I invite you to prayerfully read the words that the Spirit inspired Matthew to write:
“As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way. From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”” -Matthew 27:32-54 NRSV
We know that the zenith of God’s migration journey was not its culmination. We know that God’s migration journey continued after death into the grave. We know that in Jesus, God migrated into Hades. We know that his migration journey brought down the wall of death through the power of resurrection. We know that Jesus continued his migration journey revealing this power to his disciples, women and men. We know that his migration journey saw him ascend to the heavens to take his place at his Father’s right hand. We know that in the same way that he ascended, so too he will return. And the Spirit that leads us throughout this Lenten wilderness reminds us today that his migration journey continues through all who are driven by poverty, hunger, oppression, violence, and death to migrate out of their homeland. It continues in and through all who, out of pure love, migrate out of their homeland, hoping and praying to give their families a future with hope.
Prayer Focus: Those in whom God’s migration journey continues today.
Thought for the Day: The zenith of God’s migration journey is the cross at mount Golgotha.
Let Us Pray: Our Father in heaven, out of pure love us, you decided to migrate from the heavens to the earth. Your son Jesus set out on this sublime journey of migration to give us life eternal and abundant. Because of him we have hope for the future. We pray that you open our eyes, in the power of your Spirit, so that we are able to see those in whom Jesus continues his migration journey today. May the same compassion you were inspired to in Jesus Christ your Son, move us to extend hospitality to them. We pray humbly and with hearts full of gratitude. Amen.