Thoughts on Good Friday: 'God is non-violent'


By Fr Paul Melwyn, Pamedi, Capuchin

Apr 3: In his famous lecture ‘Christ, the Messenger’ delivered in Los Angeles in 1900 Swamy Vivekananda, the finest Messiahof Hinduism said:“If I, as an Oriental have to worship Jesus of Nazareth, there is only one way, that is, to worship him as God and nothing else.” Admiring Jesus with awe and wonder the prophet of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi once narrated: “I believe that he (Jesus) belongs not solely to Christianity but to the entire world, to all races and people, it matters little under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith or worship a God inherited from their ancestors.”

Two mighty luminous figures of Hinduism, acknowledged Jesus as divine and rendered him due homage and worthy adoration. On ‘Good Friday,’ also known as ‘Holy Friday,’ Christians remember the death of Jesus the Son of God on the cross and worship and adore Him.‘God is dead,’ seems a persistent theme expressed by Nietzsche toward the end of the nineteenth century. In 1882,philosopher Friderich Nietzsche wrote a parable known as ‘The Parable of the Mad Man.’ In this parable he declared “God is dead.”

But who believes it? Who is convinced of it? In our times, the vandalisation of temples, desecration of churches, demolition of mosques, burning of sacred scriptures, and incidents like pelting stones at places of worship are on rise. Violence committed, terror executed, hatred nourished, and unspeakable fear created, all in the name God, in the name of religion, in the name of sect, in the name of nation that is raised to religion convince us that the adage ‘God is dead’ far from true.

People claim to be serving the cause of God, become warriors and His defenders. With swords and bows, guns and pistols, knives and daggers, bombs and chemical explosives in hands some are determined to kill the other who does not believe in God they believe.Some even claim to know where exactly God dwells,whether in temple or in mosque or in church or in any other place of worship. All religions proclaim that God is present everywhere and there is divine element in each person. But, the presence of God is conveniently forgotten, purpose of religion is dubiously deviated and instead of perceiving divine element in the other, one sees in him/her demon or enemy.

Today, one cannot walk alone, couples or two friends cannot move together, and a group cannot travel together, work together and celebrate together. If you walk alone you are kidnapped, abducted, robbed and raped worse if you are a girl child, young or old. If couple or two friends go together,eyes of some become sectarian, doubt and suspicion becometheir religious belief and attack and assault on them become their religious practice. You come together for a purpose, to study, to play, to tour, to dance and to celebrate, such events are labelled as Western culture, you are influenced by foreign culture, and you pollute and contaminate native culture.

Now what these above mentioned happenings have to do with ‘Good Friday?’ Ram Manohar Lohia (1910-1967), a political leader, freedom fighter, socialist leader and an activist for the Indian independence movement, once said, I am deeply touched by “the imageries of Christ on the cross and all that it has meant to billions and trillions of Christians.” Further, he went on to say, “Christ is undoubtedly a figure of love and suffering than which there has been no nobler figure in all history. Buddha and Socrates are probably greater in wisdom or even in fine feeling. But are they greater in love? The Christian God is undoubtedly capable of acting as one symbol of unity of love for all tortured mankind.”Referring to Crucifixion M.C. Parekh in his book “A Hindu Portrait of Jesus Christ” writes “this is a tragedy which has no parallel in history, though elements thereof are found in small or big measure in every human life. Lives of Prophets, Saints and Martyrs furnish us with something of a parallel to this though of a slender kind.”

God did not come down as religion with dogmas and beliefs. He did not dwell among us as law to punish and reward; to ban and to revoke. He did not form himself as an ‘ideology’ to be believed and followed. He did not become a nation where only natives are believers and others aliens. Rather, Christians believe that God became man in Jesus of Nazareth. God entered into our finitude. He suffered violent death of the criminal on the cross to reveal God’s mercy and forgiveness.

It is on ‘Good Friday’ on the cross Jesus set an example how to die and not how to kill. He set an example how to love and not how to hate. On the day of his crucifixion of Jesus, those who hated him, were never satisfied. Their dislike, animosity, and anger was all the more increasing when Jesus was dying on the cross. They became sarcastic and sadist. Profanity was their language filled curses and jeers. His death was a combination of dehydration, exposure, and suffocation, which even the sun did not want to see, it darkened and earth could not withstand, it trembled. But He returned love for hatred.Jesus died loving. He returned prayer for curse. Jesus died praying. He forgave his enemies. Jesus died forgiving. He offered nonviolence for violence. Jesus died blessing.

Blessed Mother Teresa who served the poor, helpless, and sick irrespective of religion died serving, died loving, died praying. In fact, suffering of the abundaoned, poor, helpless, sick and old transformed her life. In them she saw suffering Jesus. Gladys Staines widow of burnt alive Graham Staines and their two sons could forgive the killer. That grace and strength to forgive she received from the Cross of Christ. Samandhar Singh who stabbed to death Sr. Rani Maria in 1995 was offered forgiveness by her family members. Certainly the family of Sr. Rani derived the power of forgiveness from the ‘Good Friday’ event.Changed and transformedSamandhar even made a bold and convincing statement: “I can say without a doubt that the missionaries do nothing but work and help the poor and the marginalized. They have not secret design, other than serve God.” In West Bengal a 71-year old religious nun who was the victim of gang rape a couple of weeks ago, has forgiven coward and perverted men. That magnanimous gesture could come from her, only because she believes that blood of Jesus heals the wounded humanity.

It looks, the present deadly events do not lead to safer and better world.The most frightening thing about the treacherous deeds that we experience today is, they are deliberately planned, well prepared, and minutely executed to generate violence, instill fear and hate. Buddha condemned violence and hate thus: “Not by hate is hate destroyed; by love alone is hate destroyed. ”That’s the loud message given by Jesus from the cross: God is love and He isnon-violent. Did not Mahatma Gandhi say Jesus is the fullest expression of non-violence?

Jesus went about doing goodby teaching, healing, feeding and comforting people. He had done nothing deserving death. He was innocent. Yet suffered and died. Jesus who was born to do good (love), lived to do good (love), died to do good (love), and now reigns to bless us to become channel of peace, channel of love channel of tolerance and channel of non-violence.

  

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Comment on this article

  • Thomas Cutinho, Pakshikere/Dubai

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Thank you Fr.Melwyn for your excellent and inspiring article.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lionel D Silva , Mangalore / Kuwait

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Father you have given the correct reflection of the real Image of our Lord Jesus Christ during these Christian persecution period.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • FrexyAsha Pinto,

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Congratulations dear Fr Melwyn. Very good article. Keep up the good work. We are proud of you...All the best.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Bantwal

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Thanks for those beautiful reflections dear Fr Melwyn one can really understand the true meaning of God's love. May the Risen Jesus inspire and bless us all

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Dsouza, Kulshekar/Dubai

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Congratulations Fr. Paul, It is excellent. Thank you for your inspiring article, its a great reflection on Good friday - SHEVOLIN fly.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Reverend Fr Paul Melwyn, can you explain the following statements within your article:

    "Swamy Vivekananda, the finest Messiah of Hinduism"
    - Can you apply the word 'Messiah' towards Hinduism? Is this merely a figure of speech or is there a significance to Messianism?

    "God did not come down as religion with dogmas and beliefs. He did not dwell among us as law to punish and reward to ban and to revoke."
    - Is this your personal view? Are these the teachings of the Church handed down through the ages? Is this what the Magisterium of the Church teaches?
    - Is this view of yours in agreement with the Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Chalcedonian Creed?

    "Jesus who was born to do good (love), lived to do good (love), died to do good (love), and now reigns to bless us to become channel of peace, channel of love channel of tolerance and channel of non-violence"
    - Was that all he did? Why did Jesus Christ come?

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Elcent, Mangalore

    Sun, Apr 05 2015

    Dear Sam,
    Your questions itself suggests that you already have the answers!! n this is merely a test of the Rev Frs knowledge.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr. Sathish Fernandes, Raichur Vimukti

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    Congrats!!!Fr. Melwyn
    It is excellent and inspiring article
    i wish you all the best.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis, Kuwait

    Sat, Apr 04 2015

    We love u Fr. melwyn. May god bless u

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, CANADA

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    VERY GOOD ARTICLE. Jesus is love and no one loved as much as Jesus did for us died on this cross for our sins. Lord Jesus bless all the nations today with peace and happiness and wash out the communalism, hatred, wars and bless those who suffers from such intolerance towards your creations. Amen

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • SAHIL AHMED, INDIA

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    THOUGH I'M A MUSLIM BY BIRTH, I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE HOLY BOOK- BIBLE. FINALLY ONE WHO COMES AGAIN TO THIS WORLD TO JUDGE EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF THEIR RELIGION AND CREED IS JESUS CHRIST THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD THE MOST ALMIGHTY. HE WILL DIVIDE THE EVIL FROM GOOD AND CREATE A NEW WORLD OF HIS PEACE AND LOVE.

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sr Irene, Mysuru

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Very good and thought provoking article. Congratulations and thank you Father.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jacintha y khan, Mumbai

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you Fr. Melwin Your article is very heart warming.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • felcy, mangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you father for your inspiring message.May the Holy Spirit inspire you write article which will touch the heart many more.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bp. Ignatius D' Souza, Bareilly, U.P.

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thanks for presenting God's Loud Cry on this sacred day. We let our hearts be broken and disarmed and surrender to the God of peace all over again. Congratulations to you.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Monthi D Cunha , Neerude/NY

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Dear Fr.Melwyn
    Very well said. I wish everyone could read this article and understand the true meaning of why and how jesus died on the cross. God bless you father.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr. Archie Gonsalves, ocd, Madanthyar/ Goa

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you Fr. Melwyn for your very thought provoking article. No doubt, Jesus is the embodiment of "Non Violence." May God bless your ministry.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Zeitgeist, Mangalore

    Sun, Apr 05 2015

    Fr.Archie,

    Would you please explain what jesus meant here when he said "I came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword".

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • sam, world

    Sun, Apr 05 2015

    @Zeitgeist, Mangalore
    Happy Easter

    "I came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword"
    - To understand this you would need to read Matthew Chapter 10 and you must read it Zeitgeist
    - Even as an Atheist, you must recognize that your views will separate individuals - some will listen, others wont. Jesus Christ is explaining to his disciples to go share his message to the people of Israel. Some listen and some didn't, the same thousands of years ago, just as today.
    - The sword indicates the division that will occur - families, communities, nations then and now can become divided if they choose to follow Jesus. Following Jesus is not easy at all.
    - The peace is a supernatural peace that can only be found if a person follows Jesus Christ. All earthly promises of peace crumble, only the peace given by God survives and is eternal. Hence even if the person is persecuted and suffers loss of family, wealth, community, etc. by following Jesus Christ, he is assured eternal peace that no earthly promises can give.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis Mathias, Mudarangadi/Bahrain

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Fr. Melwyn
    Thank you for your very much inspiring and thought provoking article. It is good to know that how the great personalities expressed their feelings about JESUS. Keep writing for the benefit of all of us.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Great article. JESUS CHRIST is GOD who came down as an human being, thus GOD's real identify and nature is revealed to the world. GOD IS LOVE, WE SEE THAT FULLY IN HIM.

    The vast majority of the Hindus, especially the educated have very high reverence towards JESUS but the politicians have sown the seeds of bloodshed and murder. So, sad to see what is happening in India.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Indeed Father Melwin. Here are people who think dispassionately and express their thoughts boldly without malice or fear. Mahatma Gandhi or Vivekananda had nothing to gain or lose but all concerned should try and emulate them.

    Good article indeed.

    JGGInspirational.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lucy Rodrigues, Moodubelle/Mumbai

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you Fr.Melwyn for your great article.

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilson Monteiro, Banakal/Chikmagalur

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    A Very good article by Fr. Melwyn D'souza for reflection on Good Friday.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • felix rego, mangalore kulshekar ./ oman

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thanks Fr Melwyn, your nice article

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Juliana D'Souza, Basrikatte/ Kuwait

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you Fr. Melwin for your touching, inspiring and a thought to change the mind set of all humanity irrespective of any religion. May God bless you with His abundant grace and wisdom to proclaim His message of LOVE to the ends of the world.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles Furtado, Capuchin, Bangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Congrats! A good, timely and relevant write up! Thank you and God bless you Rev. Fr. Paul Melwyn.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Merina, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Great Article!!!!

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Severine Furtado, Mira Road

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Fr. Melwyn, As usual Very good article. Excellent!

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Madava Nayak, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Fr. Melwyn, very good article

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.G. Lobo, Mangaluru/Mumbai

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Thank you Fr. Melwyn for this inspiring article befitting for reflection on Good Friday.

    DisAgree Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr J.B. Crasta, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Fr Melwin,
    your article is very much inspiring.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bro. Victor Crasta, OFM Cap., Mangalore/Bidar

    Fri, Apr 03 2015

    Congrats Fr. Melwyn. It's excellent and thought provoking. Keep it up!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse


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