Good Friday Ecumenical Walk for Justice
On Friday, March 21, 2008, I attended the Good Friday Ecumenical Walk for Justice. Entitled “Breathe in Justice,” it was focused on air. As a member of the planning Committee for the last three years, I have again seen how the Holy Spirit works to make the whole event come together.
The walk is a contemporary Stations of the Cross and uses readings, music, mime and meditations to show the ways in which we either enhance or block life and growth as individuals and societies. In the words of our handout, “ … as we walk, we journey with Jesus, enacting a hope rooted in our power to overcome the forces of brokenness and death, and build a world of abundant life.”
The power that Caiphas and Pontius Pilate thought they had over Jesus turned out to be illusory. The Passion story unveils another kind of power at work in the world and in the Word. When Jesus said, “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth,” He was not talking about domination and control but about solidarity and liberation. At enormous cost, Jesus confronted the life-denying forces of his day and entered death, showing us that our lives too can confront and overcome the forces of death in our day.
Each station reenacts some form of death by pollution and/or injustice. Along the way, a woman walked among us “gagged” and “bound,” to signify how we can be stopped or gagged in such a way that we lose our voice.
At the Labyrinth outside the Eaton Centre, we were reminded that life moves from birth to death and finally to rebirth.
The walk began with the reading from John’s gospel about Jesus on the cross saying He was thirsty, and the centurion giving him wine to drink before he breathed his last. The same passage was read near the end of the walk, to keep reminding us of the Good Friday story and why we were there.
It was a very powerful and moving experience to walk along Yonge Street with so many people who were there both to witness to the injustice in our society and to encourage us all to begin to act responsibly.
By Georgette Gregory CSJ
Photos courtesy of Jean Leahy CSJ