Fish & Meat

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Friday everyone in Bolivia ate fish. I´m not sure if it comes from Catholicism or even if it´s unique to Bolivia, but the belief is that no one is allowed to eat meat on Good Friday (called Holy Friday in Bolivia), so they eat fish instead.

I don´t tend to believe in religious rules and rituals. As a Christian, my faith is about knowing Christ. Jesus went through so much, through death itself, to free us from the law. I’ve often wondered if it isn’t disrespectful to Him to even try to follow religion or the law. It seems to suggest that we as humans are capable of “earning” God’s love or a way into Heaven. And that simply isn’t true. Christ is the one and only path.

But yesterday as we all sat around the table eating fried fish and rice, something occurred to me. While I don’t believe that we must do something like forgo meat on Good Friday, I now see that it can be a good thing. Giving up meat is a big deal in Bolivia. They eat meat all day every day. The live to eat meat. So I realized that giving up meat on Friday was a huge sign of respect and reverence. It was a simple way of acknowledging that the day of Jesus’ death wasn’t just any old day. It is something special, something different. So it shouldn’t be treated like any old day. Christ gave his very life on that day, and we can appreciate that sacrifice a tiny bit more if we make a sacrifice of our own in remembrance, whether it is meat or chocolate or anything else that you love.

I was kind of humbled and surprised by the end of lunch. I went into it thinking “this is silly, this isn’t what Christ asks of us.” I kept thinking that we didn’t have to do this. And we didn’t. But it was still kind of nice.
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