It is not my place to judge, but to be judged…
Some time ago, I listened to a beautiful podcast by a beautiful priest, Father John Flader, about the crucifixion of Christ. While the entire blog was beautiful and I gained many insights into the Paschal Sacrifice by listening to it, there was one small part of it that struck me – and though I heard this reflection some months ago now – that insight has stayed in my mind.
In describing the crucifixion of Christ, the meditation called on me to reflect on the souls who stood at the Foot of the Cross while Christ died and paid particular attention to Saint John the Beloved disciple of Christ.
Saint John was the youngest of Christ’s disciples and was probably never married. It was Saint John who was the only disciple of the original twelve who remained with Christ during his crucifixion and to whom Christ gave His Blessed Mother after death. Saint John was also the only one of the disciples to die of old age, rather than to be martyred as his brother-disciples were.
John stayed at the Foot of the Cross while His Lord died. What must he have been thinking as he stood silently there?
John had seen – literally seen with his own eyes – Christ heal diseases that had no cure… Christ healed people who were blind, who were deaf, those who were dumb and paralysed and riddled with disease. Christ healed aliments two thousand years ago that modern medicine today still has not been able to cure or even adequately treat. And He did it without a stethoscope, medicine, or even an examination of the patient’s body, instead He did it by seeing the person’s soul… But Christ did other things too – He provided… He turned water into wine, He fed a crowd of thousands from a few loaves of bread and some pieces of fish. And Christ gave peace – He cast out demons and forgave sins.
Saint John saw all these things – these miracles – with his own eyes.
And that list above – it only contains the really big miracles… It only contains the list of things that Christ did that were significant enough to be documented. That list contained all the things that could be rationally and conclusively proved to be miracles…
But, what about all the other things that John saw with those eyes?... What about all the times that he saw Christ move sinners to repent? What about all the times when Christ read the thoughts of His disciples and gave them comfort? What about His miraculous expressions of love?
These are significant. Years and years and years ago now, I had a very very vivid dream about my little baby who died before he was born. In my dream, that child was holding a little girl’s hand and pulling her forwards for me to see her. That little girl had a beautiful golden halo of curling hair and beautiful white porcelain skin. The little girl in my dream was my brother’s daughter who unbeknown to me had already been conceived.
Every time I see that child, I remember my dream and I remember my son...
Am I psychic? Have I been afforded visions? No… I am not holy enough for that. But during a time when I was struggling, when I was broken-hearted with grief, I received a miracle – the every-day kind, like the ones that Saint John witnessed every-day in his life with Christ.
Is it a miracle I could prove to you? Not at all… In fact, my brother – this little girl’s father – laughs at me, mocking my delusions and flights of fancy in trusting in what I saw when he thinks I should be attributing it to my subconscious. But I know… That dream was a miracle and I was blessed to have seen those children there…
Saint John KNEW that Christ was God made man. Not only had he witnessed miracles BIG and SMALL, but He knew that Christ was the Messiah because if for no other reason, he had seen – literally seen with his own eyes – Christ bring people back from the dead… More. Than. Once.
And there he stood – at the Foot of the Cross – in silence…
In silence, surely, he wondered when Christ would save Himself too. Surely, he wondered why Christ was not coming down from the Cross as He had seen the power of God in God Made Man and knew that Christ could do it if He chose to. Surely, he wondered…
In the past I have wondered too. I have thought to myself, “But why God? You are creator of the universe, why have you decided not to give me this thing for which I ask? Give it to me. Give it to me… Please…”
Now, I do not wonder anymore… And my prayers have changed, because I do not wonder – I know!
And, like Saint John the Beloved, I stand in silence at the Foot of the Cross – Trusting in the GOOD – because I trust in God.
For it is not my place to judge, but to be judged… If only I could always remember that!
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.