“So Pilate, who wished to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them ; and after he had had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.” (Mark 15, 15) Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin, and then handed over to the Roman governor for execution. He faces Pilate without fear. Standing straight, he looks authority in the eye, demanding truth and integrity. In an attempt to humiliate him, Pilate has him whipped. The soldiers mock him, spit on him. Now that he is condemned, he stands in utter silence. Jesus’ grandeur lies in his refusal to submit to the easy way out. Even when he feels abandoned by God, he continues to forgive, believe and hope. Is this not what living in peace means ?
There are many people throughout the world today who are thrown into prison, tortured and even executed because they dare to voice their convictions and their hope for a world where God’s compassion and justice will reign. We call them to mind and ask God to give them strength. We remember those who are in prison, who have no voice and no one to care for their most basic needs. They challenge us to live with such dignity that we command respect even from those who would like to sweep us away. Our own discomforts can even become an occasion to remember them.
Let us pray : Loving Father, your heart suffers to see your Son treated this way ! Share with us the Spirit that lives in you so that our hearts too may feel the pain of those whose dignity and freedom are denied. May your peace strengthen us on the journey. Amen.