As I reflected on the Gospel reading for today, one which we have heard so many times, I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the various characters who played a role in the real-life story being played out before me. I began to question who I was in that story:
Peter – who denied Jesus yet knew in his heart the mercy of God and , therefore, he could accept that he truly was forgiven;
Judas – betrayer of Jesus whose greatest sin was perhaps that he refused to recognize the mercy of God and thus, could never accept forgiveness for his betrayal;
Pilate – one who was afraid to use his position for good because it wasn’t the popular thing to do;
Barabbas – a criminal who deserved the justice that would be meted out to him yet got a second chance to make his life count because of the sacrifice of Jesus;
The priests – those whose lives should have been guided by love but were afraid of a message that challenged them and stood to expose their own sins;
The women who remained with Jesus – simply referenced by their common first name, Mary, these women stayed with Jesus and stood at the foot of the cross as he suffered his final agony;
John – the one apostle who remained with Jesus to the end, facing the possibility of his own arrest;
The soldiers – those who did unspeakably cruel acts, hiding behind ‘orders’ from higher authorities;
Joseph of Arimathea – one who believed in Jesus but who feared to speak of his belief publicly, yet found the courage to step forward when it was all over to provide an honorable burial for Jesus.
So many different roles in the final days of Jesus and I realized that, on any given day in my life, I am each of them. The challenge is to find the courage to be the best disciple I can be despite difficult encounters.
Sr. Danielle Jacob, CSFN
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