Today is the only day of the year when there is no mass said in any Catholic Church. It is unique in the life cycle of a Catholic. Yet, as unique as it is, I think I sometimes approach it with a lack of reverence for its power and transformative potential. As I reflected on the Passion narrative for today I was seeking a moment of clarity; the slightest sliver of understanding of that great power. But, I was struck by the questions that were salted throughout the verses – so I counted them. There are 21 questions in today’s Gospel! Some addressed to Jesus, some asked by Jesus. Some are directed to a man fearfully trying to hide his association with an arrested criminal; some directed to a man with the authority to condemn an innocent man to death. Some questions are directed to an ugly crowd swept up in the energy of the moment.
Questions! I was reading the greatest love story in the history of humanity and I noticed the questions; I counted the questions. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. Then, I realized, in my distracted look at this great mystery I had stumbled upon the transformative potential – questions. It is in the questions that we discover who we are. It is in the questions – those we ask, those we answer and those with which we continue to wrestle – that we find who we are and who we are called to be. It is in the midst of those questions, even if they remain only in the deepest corners of our hearts, that we can meet our truest selves and come face-to-face with the God who gave all for us. Today is a unique day!
Sister Danielle Jacob, CSFN