After attending the Good Friday mass at our parish, a man was standing at the back of the door and he seemed to be patiently waiting for the mass to end. He had this small box filled with DVDs about the movie “Passion of the Christ” for distribution to first few parishioners who would be coming out from the church. I happened to be one of them! I asked Him why he made copies of the movie, if he is into this business or what. He simply answered, “No, that is my way of sharing to others during the Holy Week.”
While I have read past reviews about the movie, I got the chance to watch it and was deeply touched about certain scenes not to mention the vivid, dreadful, and brutal scourging of Jesus at the pillar. Three notable scenes in the movie which caught my attention and would typically symbolize minor and major adverse decisions in our day to day lives include the roles played by Judas Escariot, Pontius Pilate and the apostle, St. Peter. The first one was that of Judas guilt and despair when he betrayed Jesus in exchange for silver coins, another was that of St. Peter when he denied Jesus three times and his remorse after doing it and the third one was that of Pontius Pilate when he had a hard time making decision and had to wash his hands of the matter bowing to the pressure of the high priests and the crowd. I could just imagine how awful these people must have felt after what had happened, although not so much for St. Peter who was able to turn things around!
At times, we may be similarly situated to these three characters, more or less. We have committed little and big mistakes in our daily lives which had jeopardized our relationship with God. Most of the times we make decisions in our favor even if it will cause someone to suffer or be put in danger or to satisfy our wants even if it’s not pleasing to God. Sometimes we do the said things for personal agenda, for our happiness out of greed and selfishness. We love to “copy cat” Pilate who had the power to carry out a correct decision but had to do otherwise so as to ensure his safety.
We cannot rationalize our wrongdoings by saying : “We are just humans, we are bound to commit mistakes” or “It is in our our nature, that all men are egocentrics as a whole.” On the other hand, we neither have the right to condemn nor discriminate people who have gone astray. Rather, it is our duty to remind everyone that there is always a chance and the opportunity to renew our lives even how bad it may have been. It is never too late, God is always there to welcome us, ready to lay down His merciful eyes upon us. He will always be available to grant us His unconditional mercy, love and compassion—the forgiveness that we so desire if only we open our hearts to Him.
Sometimes we make promises not to turn away from God, but most of the times these promises are simply broken. But as I said, it is never too late, let us not follow the not-so-good things of the three, particularly what Judas did who put an end to his life instead of asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Our life here on earth is just a prelude to eternal life. So, we must try to avoid things that will destroy our relationship with God even if it will satisfy our cravings! This should be our basic tenet in life. How awesome would our feelings be if God will allow all of us to enter His Kingdom in heaven!
As Easter time approaches, I pray that the God will forgive us of our little and big sins. That He will convert and teach us to be mindful of our ways and to be sensitive to His will. That He will deliver us from the clutches of darkness and help us to trust in His unconditional love for us. And finally, that He will give us another chance to have new life. Amen.