The whole Christian world pauses on this day to recall the death of Jesus. The death of Jesus was real. On the cross Jesus gave up his life for us. He became our Savior. His death is a dramatic sign of God’s overwhelming love for us. Through the centuries the crucifix has been embellished and decorated. There is a temptation to look away at the harsh reality of the death of Jesus.
In his recent Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis invites us to enter the mystery of Holy Week by reflecting on who we are in the unfolding drama of the Lord’s Passion: We might ask ourselves just one question: who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?
Pope Francis, continues by asking us to consider the character we most identify with in the Passion narrative. Pilate? Judas? The Soldiers? The Cyrene? Mary and the other women at the tomb?