Who is really on trial here? Or rather, what is on trial here?
On the surface, it is Jesus; but as good Catholics, we are not biblical literalists, but sacramentalists, so we look for the invisible reality beyond the visible words.
And it is the Human Condition that is on trial; and it is the human condition that stands convicted. Yet, redemption is always at hand.
We take all the gospels for the day, and what do we experience.
The Human condition of fickleness and capriciousness; being controlled by our greed, by our anger, by our fears. The Human condition of denial and betrayal, shame. The human condition of the need to be in control and to amass power; The human condition, the sinfulness that put Jesus to death. The human condition that all of us experience and live each day.
As in Jesus’ day, so it is this day, our human condition causes so much suffering and pain for us and for others.
We are still fickle and capricious. If you don’t believe, watch the coming political battles for the presidential election. We still let ourselves be governed by our fears and anger, so we gossip, we hoard and hold onto things; we lie, we cheat.
Marriages and families get worn down; people die from hunger, from lack of safe water, from violence; because we think we cannot help, or worse, we remain indifferent to these children of God.
Yet, in the midst of this Passion of Jesus, he remains firm; stalwart, focussed. He is not indifferent, his emotions are very much there; but as St. Paul would say, he lives in Spirit, not the flesh.
Jesus remains fixed on the Father’s love and the trust that the Father’s love will endure and change us; save us.
There! That is our hope too.
Each of us faces that choice; I do not believe anyone here truly wants to suffer nor cause suffering; but we somehow have forgotten what we are called to. We are called to choose love; We are called to choose faith. We are called to trust that the Father is in charge, the Father wants us to prosper and thrive as family, as community and as persons. We are called to remain firm! We are called to recognize our weaknesses, our conditions and die to those; and rise to new life.
A new life in which we give of ourselves, in which we learn to forgive others; in which we have hope in the goodness of others; in which we see beauty in this world.
Will it stop all the suffering? Clearly not, because not all people choose the path of Christ.
But, in Christ, through Christ and with Christ, we are redeemed and we are given the grace to endure and not be overwhelmed, not be controlled by our human condition.
Rather, we are exonerated, and liberated to become Human Persons.