At Mass on Sunday we sang the spiritual “Were you There?” It got me thinking.
How we long to have been with Jesus during His passion, death, and resurrection. How we would have loved to stand and support His mother at the foot of the Cross, to wipe His face with Veronica, to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Yes, I know that was in reverse order.)
Serendipitously, we sang this song at Communion time. And I suddenly realized that I was there!
I was there when people received Him casually. I was there when they mocked and despised Him. I was there when they closed their ears to the Gospel. I was there when they yelled, “Crucify Him!” And some of the time, I was the culprit.
When I received the Eucharist, I was with Him on Calvary. I kissed His beaten back. I helped Him carry His Cross. I pricked my finger on His crown of thorns. I heard Him say, “Behold, your mother.”
I was there when they crucified my Lord. This Holy Week, I was there.
2 thoughts on “Were you there at the crucifixion?”
Connie, as a cradle Catholic I have a few Holy Weeks under my belt; and, as I age (somewhat gracefully, I hope) I find that events such as the Passion take on deeper, and often newer meaning for me. This is the Tuesday of Holy Week as I write this, and my predominant thought is how the Apostles scattered when Jesus was arrested. After those years with Him, I am still surprised that their faith was so weak (shallow, inadequate). Of course I would like to think I would not desert Him; but at the same time, I have to consider that I am no better than they.
My own Holy Week ritual consists of (besides daily prayer and contemplation) reading Richard John Neuhaus’ “Death on a Friday Afternoon,” and Henryk Sienkiewicz’ “Quo Vadis.” Just FYI.
Thanks for commenting, PJ. I think it’s impossible to know what we would have done had we actually been there in the flesh. We can only remind ourselves how often we have failed God in the time He has put us in and strive to be faithful now. I have not read Neuhaus’s book, but I have read Quo Vadis and parts of The Greatest Story Ever Told and The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Archbishop Goodier. Blessed Holy Week to you.