Friday, March 29, 2013

I'm Like Pontius Pilate

April 12, 2011 - Lenten Reflection – The Passion

As I have been meditating on the sorrowful mysteries, I am struck by many things. 

Jesus asked only one thing of his disciples during His passion.  Stay awake!  Stay awake for 1 hour!  Ahhhh!  We cannot comply even with this simple request.  Oh, poor Jesus.  Accused or denied at every turn.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Sweet Jesus, please show us how to stay awake for You.  If denying the flesh is the only way to make it stronger, please show us those things that have a hold on us, so that our flesh is as willing as our spirit.

The second, I want to scream at Pontius Pilate, “Where is your backbone?!”  How can you so easily command that Jesus be scourged and then say you are innocent of His blood?!  The reason for my animosity is twofold.  #1 - He gives the final word to put Jesus to His death.  #2 – I am like him.  I want to please people, just like Pontius Pilate.  So much so that I would put my Savior to death?  I have not seen much in my life to prove otherwise.  I have silenced my tongue so as not to offend unbelievers or other Christians, even.  I don’t want them to think I am persecuting them.  Is this not the same thing?  In an effort to “placate the crowd”, Pilate’s vanity put Jesus on the cross.  What if Pilate had not been influenced by what the people thought?  The people tried to kill Jesus multiple times on their own, yet, they were unsuccessful.  God used someone with influence, but who silenced his tongue, to give his power and means to the masses.  He acquiesced.  Oh, Lord, please take my vanity away from me!!!  

Lastly, I think about Mary.  How much did she know ahead of time?  It is easy to think the Passion was easier for her, if she “knew what was coming.”  But, how much did she know?  She didn’t know Jesus was in the temple, even after searching for Him for days.  So, going forward, I imagine her watching Jesus, just as I imagine watching my own son.  At each turn, she must have thought, “Please, let this be the end, Lord.  How much more can He bear?”  When they placed the reed in His hand, I think about his fingers opening to receive it.  For so much of the Passion, Jesus seems to passively receive his torture, “like a lamb being led to the slaughterhouse”.  But through this, we see His active participation in it.  He accepts it, only to have the accepted, mocking reed ripped out of His hand and hit on His newly crowned head with it.  Oh, Lord, please forgive us!  Be merciful to us and give us Your courage, patience, and perseverance!

God, forgive us.  Mary, pray for us.  Jesus, be with us.  Let us remain with You.  Amen.

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