The following is a blog by Brother Gerard. FACT is not affiliated to any religious organisation, but it is hoped that this article will be of interest during the approach to Easter.
FACT supports those who suffer from wrongful allegations resulting from their work. Many are or were carers, teachers, health care workers, social workers, or ministers of religion. To many their career will have been a vocation, not just a job. It may have required dedication and sacrifice. It is particularly hurtful when they are wrongly accused by the very people they had spent their lives trying to help.
This week is Holy Week, a special time for Christians when they remember the days leading up to Jesus Christ’s betrayal and crucifixion. The week starts with Palm Sunday when churches around the world remember his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is a particularly poignant day, as it comes with the knowledge that those that cheered him and threw branches of palm trees on the road in front of him as a sign of honour, would soon be shouting for his execution. In a few days he would be betrayed, abandoned by most of his friends, falsely accused, convicted and sentenced to a humiliating and terrible death.
Some traditions remember the “Stations of the Cross”. These are representations of the various events believed to have occurred as Christ carried his cross through the streets of Jerusalem on the way to his execution. At one of these stages, Christ is stripped of his clothes before being crucified.
The wrongfully accused don’t find it difficult to identify with the events of Holy Week. Like Christ, many of us worked with damaged people on the margins of society, and we tried to make them whole. We may have been wrongly accused by the very people we were trying to heal. Our friends may have abandoned us. If we were arrested or imprisoned we may have had our clothes taken from us. Not only will we have been stripped of our clothes, but also we will have been stripped of our respect, our honour and our reputations. We may feel very alone, rejected and despised.
Christians believe that not only can we identify with Christ, but that he is the human face of God, and he identifies with us. When we feel we have lost everything we don’t feel completely abandoned, because we believe he is with us in our suffering.
Whatever your beliefs, it is hoped that the events remembered in Holy Week will offer another perspective into the experience of being wrongfully accused.