I am the disciples, falling asleep while Jesus is in agony, every time I am apathetic in my prayer life.
There have been times when I have been the kiss of Judas–the times in my life that I have betrayed Jesus through my actions, and my words.
I have been Peter, denying Christ out of fear, out of cowardliness for making it known that my identity is in Him, too worried about what others may think of me and not what my Lord will think.
Every time I participate in gossip, get caught up in the values of our society, rather than the values of our Church, I am Pontius Pilate–the man who condemned Jesus to death out fear of the crowd.
And, I am the crowd, yelling “crucify Him,” when I turn my back to those in need, when I forget to see Jesus in every person I encounter, when I do not fully defend and support the dignity of every human being.
But, sometimes, in moments of victory and by the grace of God, I am Mary and the disciple John. I see the face of Jesus in those who are suffering, and I do not abandon them in their time of need.
I am Simon of Cyrene, every time I have the courage to help someone carry their cross, when I help innocent people in times of injustice, when I do not pass on an opportunity to help someone in their time of need.
When I treat others with unconditional love, even when they are strangers, when I dare to treat people with dignity–even when no one else does– I am Veronica, courageously stepping forward to wipe the face of Jesus.
And, when God gives me the strength to have the courage of my convictions, when I do what is good and just even when I am afraid, I am Joseph of Arimathea, stepping forward and asking Pontius Pilate permission to bury Jesus.
It is my prayer, especially in these last few days of lent, we may all act as Mary’s, Simon’s, Veronica’s, and Joseph’s. I pray that we all have the grace and strength to see Jesus in every person we encounter, and to never abandon Christ at the cross. May we courageously and passionately say “Yes,” to Jesus today and always.