I remember taking my mother to the movie The Passion of the Christ when it first came out. It was a movie she wanted to see and so we went. As a cradle Catholic, I’ve heard the passion story for as long as I can remember, but when I saw this version play on the big screen, it provided me a deeper understanding. Hollywood aside, the movie graphically depicted the brutality of the events leading up to and including the crucifixion. I still remember the hush in the theatre at the conclusion of the movie.
The treatment of Jesus was inhuman to say the least. There was so much hatred and gang mentality. Even with the gospel readings and the various art depictions of the crucifixion, one can only slightly imagine the suffering Christ endured for us. And yet, that is exactly what we must remember as we begin this Holy Week and final journey before the wondrous season of Easter. Christ suffered for us, died for us and rose from the dead, all for us!
We all have our own crosses but they pale in comparison to the one that Christ carried for us. Think closely at Jesus washing the feet of twelve of his closest friends knowing they would all desert him in his hour of need. Remember the taunting and the beating he endured. Reflect on the long walk carrying a heavy wooden cross. And finally, imagine the nails piercing his hands and his feet. Here is the picture of our Lord in all his vulnerability. That is suffering! No matter the sacrifices we made this past Lent, it does not compare to His sacrifice.
As we enter this Holy Week, may we be reminded of this journey of the cross. May we die a little with Christ on Friday only to be reborn again with him on Easter Sunday. And finally, may God bless you this coming Easter Season!