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Sunday, April 3, 2011

“Ecce Homo”...Behold The Man...

Our journey through Lent, over the last three weeks, has hit the half way milestone; generally marked by the day known as ‘Laetare Sunday’.

It is that Sunday of joy sandwiched into the middle of our forty days of penance.  The word ‘Laetare’ originates from Latin meaning ‘Rejoice!’.

This is a Sunday of Joy! – We are actually halfway to Easter!

Flowers, generally not seen during Lent, makes a return to the altar and the vestment of the clergy turns from the mournful purple to a more joyful and hopeful ‘rose pink’.

This serves as a reminder to us that Easter is approaching and for us to keep persevering with hope for the remaining weeks of Lent.

Before we embark on the journey into the fourth Week of Lent, let us take this opportune moment to ponder and reflect on how we have kept our commitment for this holy season.

Then perhaps, we can take this opportunity to also renew our Lenten resolution, in areas where we have fallen slightly short.

Have we been able to turn away from our worldly distractions and turn God-ward?

“Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.” (Isaiah 35:10, NAB)

Today, let us be encouraged and continue to make progress in our journey daily, through life, towards God.

“Ecce Homo” (In Latin: Behold the Man) is the phrase uttered by Pontius Pilate at the trial of Christ, sending Him on the path to Golgotha.

“So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, ‘Behold, the man!’

When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’”
(John 19:5-6, NAB)

After having journeyed three weeks this Lent, we ask ourselves, what does “Ecce Homo” mean for me?  Who is this man, Jesus, in my life?  What is my own response to to the cry of “Ecce Homo” today?

Throughout the journey in the past three weeks, we have encountered many characters of the Passion of Christ – Pilate, the Pharisees, the Faces in the Crowd, the Roman Executioners, Simon the Cyrene, Veronica, Mother Mary, the distant Disciples and naturally, Jesus, the man – Who do you relate best with?  Why?

I have endeavored to share my simple layman reflections of the first half of the Stations of the Cross within this web journal.  I pray that each humble sharing will be beneficial to reach out and touch hearts; bringing about the unique message of hope for the holy season.

These reflections are simply my own contemplation of the Passion of Christ, as I myself reflect on each aspect of Jesus’ journey to Golgotha, relating to my many falls carrying the cross of my sins in my own life.

This Lent, prayerfully surrender all your burdens to Jesus and allow Him to touch you, to heal you, to open new paths for you, to lead you home, to transform you...

“Ecce Homo” will then simply draw a joyful response from us which would be similar to disciple Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”...

“What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?”
– Thomas Merton

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