Testimony of Bishop Dolli

(Good Friday Homily)

Bishop Bullen Dolli of Sudan tells a remarkable story of persecution and pardon. Since Colonel Jaafar Mohammed Nimeiri established Sharia law in 1973, Sudanese Christians have faced harsh treatment.

The NIF (National Islamic Front) falsely accused Bishop Dolli’s brother of belonging to a Christian rebel group. Tying a rope around his neck, they dragged him three miles behind a military jeep till his skin was worn off. Then they poured gasoline over him and burned him alive.

After the service for his brother, the person who accused him came before the bishop and asked: “You know who is responsible for the death of your brother?”

Bishop Dolli relates that he looked the man in the eyes and said nothing for a few minutes, then asked: “Would you repeat that question?”

He repeated it. The bishop then made a dramatic gesture. He invited the man to his house. “He thought I was planning revenge, to poison his food and kill him…we ate from one dish and drank tea from one big mug. We drank the whole mug of tea and we prayed.”

That man is now a lay reader in the bishop's church. (The full account can be found in the April 2002 issue of Touchstone magazine.)

In this account, the bishop and his brother represent aspects of Good Friday. The brother, though innocent of the charges against him, suffered a cruel death. Bishop Dolli’s astounding act of forgiveness led to genuine redemption.

Human redemption was achieved “once and for all” on that first Good Friday. Yet we await the full application of the Divine Mercy. Saint Paul states that in our own flesh we must “fill up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ for the sake of his body, the Church.” (Col 1:24)

Like Bishop Dolli we are invited to bring our sufferings – and, perhaps most difficult, those of our loved ones – to the cross of Christ. In him we have full redemption.

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Versión Castellana

From Archives:

2011 Good Friday Homily: Suffering Is Everything
2010: Do Not Waste Your Suffering
2009: He Learned Obedience
2008: According to Your Word
2007: He Took Our Suffering to Himself
2006: The Hour of Divine Mercy
2005: The Conversion of Barabbas
2004: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?
2003: The Host
2002: Testimony of Bishop Dolli
2001: Blood From His Side
2000: Vicarious Suffering
1999: Old Testament Fulfilled
1998: He took our place

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