My brain is strange in many ways. One habit my mind seems to have picked up is to grasp at any language where I know that English isn’t easily understood. So this last week, as I completed sections of work in Padova, I found myself uttering “tetelestai” as I checked things off – “it is finished”.

It’s what Jesus cried out on the Cross before He died. Today is Good Friday. The day when Jesus hung on the Cross; was crucified. Wounded, bled, and died. On my way around Padova, I saw many images of Jesus on the Cross. As a resolute Protestant, I’m not used to that, but rather the empty Cross (why don’t we symbolically use an empty tomb….?). The images were stark, made me stop. Made me cry, as I started to feel, not just think, that I am covered by God’s grace.


Wooden crucifix at Saint Guistina Basilica, Padova

I’ve heard it preached that Christ on the Cross is “tetelestai”; the completion of God showing us He is utterly for us. The beginning of freedom to be who we are meant to be, in God, without the burdens of guilt or worry. For me, that’s an easy concept to grasp intellectually. I know it to be true. In spite of that ease, in spite of knowing wounding myself is unnecessary, I still feel a deep desire to hurt myself. Really hurt myself. Punish myself for being so bad and worthless.

This Easter I want to work on truly accepting the love and pardon Jesus offers. And maybe I’ll be able to really feel it, too.

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