How harsh we are on Judas. Yes, he betrayed our Lord. But have not we done so repeatedly as well? How critical we are of Pontius Pilate. Yes, he did exactly what he knew he should not have done. How are we any different from him? How often have we either done what we knew we should not have done or failed to do that which we knew we should?
Do we really think we are much different from those who threw stones at Him, cursed Him, spit at and slapped Him? Come on. Be real. Every time we fail to do what He has asked us to do or fail to stand up to defend Him or His Church, or remain silent when the Truth is being misrepresented, or fail to teach or lovingly correct for fear of being ridiculed or causing tension or stress in our relationships with others, we am one with them.
When was the last time you joyfully accepted and carried any cross He has sent your way? In truth, He has given most of us only toothpicks to carry and yet we have complained unceasingly even about them. How frequently have we expressed gratitude to Him for the abundant blessings He has given us in this life?
Have not the anger, criticism, curses, despair, slander and untruths that have flowed from our tongues been as slashing and painful to Him as the whips with which He was scourged? Has not our failure to love Him and others as we ought pierced His Sacred Heart as surely and as painfully as did the thorns embedded in His Sacred Head?
How hypocritical for any of us to criticize Peter for denying Jesus three times, when we have repeatedly done so throughout the course of our lives? How can we become indignant at those who nailed His hands and feet to the cross when in fact it was our sins that propelled their hammers through His bone and flesh?
Sure all the cowardly Apostles should have been at the foot of the cross while their Savior suffered and died. What has been our excuse? Why do we not put ourselves there more frequently so we can come to better understand and appreciate the anguish and suffering our sins caused He Whom we profess to love?
Oh there is so much more to explore and learn if we but come to the foot of the cross and gaze into the eyes of our suffering, dying, loving Lord.
There is no better time than this week to do so.
(© 2011 Mike Seagriff)