The Walkway experience continues...
Station 3. The Trial: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
As I was reading the "Act", a lot of faces passed before my eyes. The faces of those who I imagined I was stoning to death - ok, that was an exaggeration but what I wanted to say was, I have judged and misjudged a lot of people - acquaintances, friends and even relatives. Some of them I considered out-of-my-league and there were those I deemed inferior.
The problem with me, up until now, is that I find it hard to reconsider; once I have set my mind on disliking someone, that's it, every argument, reason or appeal becomes invalid. I close all the doors, windows and shut my eyes to the chances that can lead me to knowing the stranger better. It is as if I have an imaginary checklist to tick and under it are the ridiculous standards I set. Furthermore, I tried to brainwash those who are close to me and found comfort in the premise that we all think alike.
I have thrown so many stones and a lot of stones have been thrown at me but I fixed my eyes on the former and turned a deaf ear to the latter. I forgot that I was flawed, too and that no one has the authority to criticize his/her neighbor based on stupid and unsound criteria.
God saved Magdalene from those who tried to execute her, He healed lepers, blind men and those who were possessed by evil spirits, He invited a tax collector to be an apostle, He prayed for those who persecuted Him and died for sinners... I believe He already endured a great deal of stone-throwing.
Father, help me to loosen up and accept people as they are. I want to see the goodness in them but my heart is a bit clouded right now. Open up my heart so I could look beyond the imperfections and differences. Teach me to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. I am not yet fully healed but I am taking things one kind word at a time. Take away the impure thoughts, take away everything that's holding me back, take away the deep-seated feeling of resentment I have held against those people I misjudged. I don't want to be a stone anymore,
I desire to be Your instrument, Lord.
STATION 4. The Verdict: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
In one of the homilies I heard this year, the presiding priest differentiated the
Washing of Hands from the Washing of the Feet.
These are two of the remarkable gestures we remember during the Lenten season.
The Washing of Hands, which we associate with Pilate, signifies cowardice or gutlessness. He was afraid to be questioned and/or to be ousted, which led him to do what was unjust. Also, he knew who Jesus was and he and his wife believed that Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God. Pilate was torn between the dictates of those who accuse Jesus of blasphemy and his moral and spiritual beliefs. So instead of displeasing the crowd and to somehow get Jesus to think that he is not the one to blame, he took his hands off the case.
The Washing of the Feet was initiated by Jesus to show His apostles that in order to be a leader, one must be a servant first. It is a sign of humility, selflessness and courage. You bow down to clean up probably the dirtiest part of a man's body and in Jesus' case, He,a God, washed the feet of His followers to fulfill the will of His Father.
When you share your blessings, you are reliving Jesus' selfless act, all the more when you really take part in molding someone's life, a stranger in need, perhaps. We wash our hands whenever we hesitate to help, we become just like Pilate when we deprive our neighbor of the help he needs. It is about time to learn how to bow down and wash someone's feet -
you give the person you help today the opportunity to be a blessing to others someday :)