As we continue on our Lenten journey, examining the Passion of Christ through different perspectives, we will spend this week considering the events through the eyes of Barabbas and the crowd that called for his release.
The editors of the Catholic Bible Dictionary rightly found Barabbas a significant enough character to create an entry on him, which provides an excellent summary of who he was:READ MORE
This week, we examine the passion of Christ from the perspective of Caiaphas, the high priest responsible for initiating the arrest, interrogation, and crucifixion of Jesus.
Judea was part of the Roman Empire, which is why the Roman governor was sent to govern the area from a civil and political point of view. However, the Jewish people were allowed to continue to practice their religion so long as the Roman government had the authority to appoint a high priest of their choosing. The high priest was then expected to keep the people in line, so to speak, so the Roman government did not have to worry about a religious uprising or revolt. Because of this relationship with the government, the high priest had a great deal of power and influence within the community. The appointed high priest at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion was Caiaphas, son-in-law of the former high priest, Annas.READ MORE
Pontius Pilate could be considered one of the most complex characters in this portion of the gospels. He was the Roman-appointed governor of Judea from 26/27 AD – 36/37 AD. During his administration, there was a lot of tension between the Romans and the Jewish people, so when Jesus was brought before him, with the crowd’s insistence that He be crucified, he likely felt a lot of pressure coming from every direction. Certainly many, if not all of us, have found ourselves in situations where discerning the correct answer has been difficult. Perhaps you have had to mediate between two friends or family members. Or perhaps you’ve found yourself voting for “the lesser of two evils” in an election. However, you have experienced these types of difficulties, you are surely aware that often the right answer is not always glaringly obvious in the moment, even if it becomes more obvious in retrospect.READ MORE
There are many methods we can use while reading sacred scripture to increase its penetration into our hearts and souls. In fact, multiple methods should be interchanged and used frequently. For example, you can pray scripture, you can meditate on a single phrase or word, you can study its historical context, or you can reflect on a particular passage’s symbolic meaning or spiritual reality. The list of ways to engage with scripture in a very meaningful way is long. For this year’s Lenten reflection series, we are going to employ a technique with which you may be less familiar: placing yourself in the shoes of one of the characters of the story.
We are going to begin this series with Peter and the sons of Zebedee, James and John. After the Last Supper, Jesus specifically invited these three apostles to join Him while He prays in preparation for His coming Passion. At this point, Jesus is overwhelmed with agony and other emotions as He anticipates the terrible things that await Him very soon. He does not hide these feelings from His friends and says to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me” (Matt 26:38, Mk 14:34). After going off to pray for a while, Jesus returns to His friends to find them sleeping. He awakens Peter, James, and John and says to them, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:40-41). As Jesus goes back into prayer, the apostles fall asleep yet again.READ MORE
It’s really happening! The renovation to our Parish Center is underway! Our asbestos survey report came back negative and our demolition permit has been approved! By the time you are reading this, demolition will have already begun! The architect is still putting some final details on the kitchen, bathroom, and overall drawings, but we hope to share those with you very soon! Thank you for your patience during the time of construction. We expect the project to last from now through the summer. Finally, I would like to thank all the staff members who have worked tirelessly over the past couple weeks to prepare the Parish Center by organizing and moving tables, chairs, and other supplies, especially Ken Doering, Rick Jablonski, and Barb Manning! Thank you!!!