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Catholic-Christian constants gleaned from the Passion narrative

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Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are, at one time or another, every person in the Passion narrative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We are, first and foremost, Judas, every time we sin.

This is a painful acknowledgment. But when it is our inner perception, intellectually, spiritually, and from the heart, we move one step closer to Jesus. For Jesus is both Truth, and Mercy. When we are repentant, daily, from an honest examination of our conscience, and become a regular visitor to sacramental confession, we grow in holiness. Yes, this is one of the great Christian paradoxes! The more we are honest about our sin, the more we move away from it through the Spirit and Blood of Jesus.

We are Peter in that we are impetuous. We cut off Malchus' ear in one moment, and we deny Jesus just a little bit, for public acceptance, the next. We boast of being a super disciple at the Lord's Supper, then we go out, into the world, and fall on our face in our weakness. We trail Jesus from afar, spying on His trial, and when He is condemned to the Cross we deny Jesus three times before the cock crows.

We are like the rest of the apostles as they ran for cover when the Shepherd was struck. No one was to be found, except a distant and denying Peter, as one ran away naked, and the rest hid under the cover of night. We do the very same thing when we let our cross change our hope and joy into doubt and despair.

We are the Pharisees, the Chief Priest, and the Sanhedrin, when we vote for Pro-Choice politicians, or, at least, when we acquiesce to the popular culture and forget that Jesus is first and foremost in our lives. For their denial of Jesus as the Christ, and their antagonism of Him, was from jealousy, insecurity, and human weakness. We are just as condemning when we choose for hedonism instead of faithful self-sacrifice, when we choose for anger and gossip and selfishness, instead of for the long suffering of our Lord. When we choose to nail Jesus to the Cross, we do it because we don't want to accept our own.

On the positive side, we are like Mary Magdalene, and the Mother of our Lord, not to mention the re-clothed John, when we stand at the foot of the Cross and identify all Truth with the Crucified Savior. This can bring ridicule, mockery, persecution, and a loss of social status. But when we hold the Body of Jesus in our arms, like Mary in the Pieta, we hold all our hope.