In Cheesefare Week, we read the passion of our Lord according to St. Luke. What strikes me today is how the passion affects the people around Jesus. The women of Jerusalem receive a warning. The corrupt rulers Pilate and Herod make up and become friends. The venerable Joseph of Arimathea, member of the council, who “had not consented to their decision and deed,” courageously asks for the body of Jesus and gives it burial.
Simon of Cyrene is made to bear Jesus’ cross, becoming an icon for all of us who believe, for Jesus said, “Unless you take up your cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” But what is the cross – it is love for the other to the point of laying down our own lives. The soldiers receive forgiveness, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Then the soldiers repent, “Certainly, this was a righteous man.” (Verse 23:47) Maybe we have this mercy thing upside down. We say, repent and we will show you mercy, maybe it goes the opposite way, we show mercy and the person repents.
Jesus shows mercy to the woman caught in adultery, then tells her, “Go, and sin no more.”
Meditation by Archpriest David Petras