Who Are You In The Passion of Christ?

Fr.Celsus repeatedly and passionately asked, “Who are you in the story?”

He said that if you are church and this is your story, you must be in it. Who are you? Are you Pilate, who knows the truth and yet rejects it out of fear to chose and serve the world? Are you the good thief on the cross, condemned for sins you really did commit? Are you John, the Beloved Disciple, standing with Mary, the Mother of Jesus? Who are you in the story?

From a homily by Saint Gregory Nazianzen,

We are soon going to share in the Passover

We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol. Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and with deeper understanding. He will then reveal to us and make clear what he has so far only partially disclosed. For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

It is for us to learn what this drinking is, and for him to teach us. He has to communicate this knowledge to his disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way, but according to the teaching of the Gospel; not in an imperfect way, but perfectly; not only for a time, but eternally. Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one; the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies. We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling; but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon his heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise. We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies. I will say more: we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified.

If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christ€™s body. Make your own the expiation for the sins of the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ€™s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.

Holy Thursday – Pope Benedict XVI

In this day of “turning the Bible on its head by such influential entities as National Geographic Society and Newsweek, it is good to remember what actual scholars who care about Truth have taught us.  Pope Benedict XVI reacting to a misleading 3rd century coptic text on display by the National Geographic Society in 2006, as covered by Cindy Wooden of Catholic New Service, corrected:

Judas was a greedy liar who put his desire for money ahead of his relationship with Jesus and his love for God, Pope Benedict XVI said…

But during his April 13 (2006) homily at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Pope Benedict said Judas is the clearest example Christians have of someone who refuses God’s saving love.

For Judas, the pope said, “only power and success are real; love does not count.”

“And he is greedy: Money is more important than communion with Jesus, more important than God and his love. He also becomes a liar, a double-crosser who breaks with the truth,” Pope Benedict said.

Purposefully ignoring the truth, he said, Judas “hardens, becoming incapable of conversion … and throws away his destroyed life.”

The next day, the pope’s preacher also weighed in against the recent wave of “pseudohistorical literature” gaining popularity as well as the soon-to-be-released film, “The Da Vinci Code.”

In his April 14 [2006] homily during the Good Friday liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said that millions of people today were being “crassly manipulated by the media,” which is more interested in touting the newest fad or insight rather than the truth and, as a consequence, turning a pretty penny for it.

“There is much talk about Judas’ betrayal without realizing that it is being repeated” today, he said during his homily given before the pope and hundreds of people in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Christ is being sold again,” he said, but this time “to publishers and booksellers” for billions of dollars.

People seem to be always itching for something new, and there are those who take advantage of that by carrying out or promoting “the clever rewriting of ancient legends,” he said.

The fantasies and speculation will only “flare up with the imminent release of a certain film,” the Capuchin friar said, in reference to the movie “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the novel by Dan Brown.

The preacher of the papal household said he felt it was his duty to address the current swirl of controversy surrounding the many interpretations of the life and death of Jesus because “we cannot allow the silence of believers to be mistaken for embarrassment” nor allow the media to manipulate the truth about Christ’s life, his death on the cross and his resurrection.”

Zenit.org reports Fr. Cantalamessa’s closing remark:

The “fantasies” mentioned have an explanation, concluded the Pontifical Household preacher: “We are in the age of the media and the media are more interested in novelty than in truth.”

Words of St. Paul:

“The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths.”