Good Friday and the Killer – By Rev Gary Mason

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Lyra McKee – a journalist, aged 29. Another name to add to the long list of victims, who had to die all too soon to allegedly justify a particular ideology – and to those who planned the act and to whoever pulled the trigger – the correct ideology.

On this day of all days, a day we call Good Friday, a day that evokes thousands of years of memory for people of faith, a day that evokes 21 years of memory for people who placed hope in the Good Friday Agreement.

This too is a day that the ancient texts tell us that darkness fell on the hills of Jerusalem.

Once again darkness falls on this small island, this time in the hills of Derry or is it Londonderry when some person in the darkness pulled a trigger in the name of their kind of dark freedom.

Darkness still covers this tiny space – a sectarianism that is dark, a nationalism that is dark, an identity that is dark, a religion that is dark, stories that are dark, stories to tell of the others’ darkness but never my darkness.

On this day of Good Friday, Jesus died for the other, in the place of the other, the ancient texts say. What are we doing 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement, shooting a 29-year-old journalist – of course we will be told they were not the intended target, it was the other, the dark other.

It was probably some 29-year-old PSNI officer that my dark ideology wanted me to kill. Ah, Jesus dies in my place, Lyra dies in the place of some PSNI officer, trying to do their job, as Lyra was trying to do her job.

Can we wrestle, struggle with this profound question on this day we call Good Friday? How do we finally remove this ancient darkness, from this ancient place, that has covered all of us for far, far too long?

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