Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reflections: Holy Week 2006

Points for reflection for the Holy Week 2006 (Sunday - Cycle B, Weekdays - Series II)


The word 'Passion' has a Latin origin. 'Passion' in Latin means feeling or suffering. All the four Evangelists speak of the Passion of Jesus. What were the feelings of Jesus? What were the sufferings of Jesus? The feelings or sufferings of Jesus were:
(1) Fear and anguish in the garden of Gethsemane
(2) Betrayal by a loved one
(3) Abandonment
(4) Arrest and trial
(5) False accusations
(6) Ridicule and humiliation
(7) Stripping off the clothes
(8) Nailing to the cross
(9) Crucified with the thieves
(10) Mocked and being laughed at
Mark, the Evangelist, in today's reading of the Passion, presents the cruelest of circumstances in which Jesus was caught. He emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Jesus in Mark's Gospel is as frail as we are. He suffers like us. Like a child in full confidence he says, "Abba", an Aramaic term meaning 'daddy' often used at that time by children. In his humanity and suffering he puts his trust in God, similar to the trust and faith a child has in a loving parent.

Is "Abba" a word you use?


(.) Situations can be viewed from variety of perspectives

(.) Our ways of viewing things often reflect ourselves

(.) Judas Iscariot took an embittered view of things

(.) Jumping to conclusions hastily is not good

(.) There should be room for benefit of doubt

(.) Judas Iscariot saw the anointing of Jesus as sheer waste and an extravagant expression of love

(.) Why was Judas concerned about Mary?

(.) Was it not her money? Couldn't she use it as she

(.) Why did Judas Iscariot meddle in her affairs?

(.) Judas did not think, say and do as Jesus did.

(.) Judas' motive was selfish.

(.) Jesus saw things differently

(.) Judas betrayed his Master and went away from Him.


(.) 'Love one another' is the core message of Christianity

(.) Loving others is the hallmark of Christianity

(.) Loving others is one of the essential traits of Christianity

(.) The commandment of loving God with all our heart was there in the Old Testament also {Lev. 19:18}

(.) In the New Testament in Jesus' commandment of love there is something unique

(.) The uniqueness consists in loving others as Jesus has loved us

(.) According to St Francis de Sales, "To love our neighbor in charity is to love God in man"


(.) Judas Iscariot could not have succeeded in concealing his plan from Jesus

(.) Today's gospel provides an excellent example of Jesus' dealings with the sinners

(.) Today's gospel manifests God's tremendous respect for the free will of human beings

(.) Once having given free will, God does not interfere with it

(.) Jesus, all through his public life, never forced sinners to change their lives

(.) Jesus only appealed to the sinners to change their lives

(.) Jesus dealt with Judas Iscariot just as he dealt with others

(.) Jesus even made Judas the treasurer of the group and invited him to the Last Supper

(.) As light makes darkness to disappear, doing good to sinners will make them to shun evil.

HOLY THURSDAY John 13:1-15

About 2000 years ago, on Holy Thursday, Jesus faced a dilemma. On one side, his heavenly Father told him to put an end to his earthly ministry and return to heaven to be with Him and the Holy Spirit. When the Father called him, he could not say 'no'. He had to return. However, he did not want to leave us orphans. So, in this dilemma he instituted the Holy Eucharist and decided to be in it till the end of this world. He continues to remain with us even after returning to heaven.


Today we profess, confess and celebrate something that is common in all cultures, religions, races, tribes and nations. It is death, loss, grief and bereavement. Death, loss, grief and bereavement that are common in all cultures, are not the same to us when we grieve the death of Jesus.

During the time of Jesus, crucifixion was the worst type of punishment. Jesus by dying on the cross defeated death, devil, deception, delusion and despair. Evangelist John says that the passion and death of Jesus has a purpose: "He has to be 'lifted up' in order to draw everything to himself". The depth of Jesus' suffering can be understood if we get involved in the situation. For example, when one of our neighbors house is on fire and when the fire fighters fight with the fire, we may either look at it or join the fighters to quench the fire. But the pain and suffering of being witness to such suffering and loss will be much less compared to our own house on fire. To understand the real depth of the meaning of Christ's suffering we must follow Jesus and carry our life's cross with total surrender to God's will. Kautilya, a great Eastern Political Thinker was aptly said "only the wearer of the shoe knows where the shoe is biting".

Rev. Fr. Robert Crasta, a Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Mangalore in India and currently serving as the Parochial Vicar at the Church of Our Lady of Victory, 60 William Street, New York, NY 10005, is the founder of America's Mangalorean Konkan Catholic Prayer Society (AMKCPS), an online prayer society of free membership, dedicated to strengthening the spiritual life of Mangalorean Christians abroad. To know more, visit

Posted by Rev. Fr. Robert Crasta
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