By now, many of us have attended a Good Friday service (virtually) or have fond memories of attending one in real life.
I am always struck by the passion according to St. John the Evangelist in many ways, but I can pick out at least two things that are very profound and deserve much-needed reflection.
During Christ’s trial, we notice that Pontius Pilate was pressured by the high priests and Pharisees to do away from him. So he presented Christ and Barabbas to the crowd. The crowd wanted Barabbas over Christ. The crowd, on top of the immediate release of Barabbas (as it was part of the Passover tradition), responded: “Crucify Him”. In today’s world, we notice that people are picking other gods over Christ. We see people, like the abortionists and even those in the diabolic industry, that claim the moral high ground when it comes to promoting abortion. Christ even reminded Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason, the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
The next part is at Calvary. We see Christ is now crucified. We have his mother, Mary Magdalene, and his beloved apostle, at the foot of his cross. Every time I read that passion, I can’t help but think of when mothers of unborn children are following their own children to calvary as they are going into abortion facilities across the United States and world. It makes me think of the Pieta image that we commonly see in church. In time, they have an empty hole in their hearts and it is filled with sorrow from the loss of their child.
These reflections are pointed out to remind everyone to reach people with love. It may be hard but it is what we need to do.
“There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us. And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection. This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.”
— Pope St. John Paul II, Apostolic Journey to the United States (1995)