In the Passion narrations(in common), we come across with certain group of people around Jesus. I would like to categorize them in to 4 groups.

1. The disciples: Simon Peter, John and Judas are named here in the passion of John. Among them Simon and John wanted to follow Jesus. But they were afraid of the people – so they were unable to follow Jesus. Jesus trained them and warned them about the coming problems. But they were unable and to understand the inner meaning.
We know so many people, who are “holding” their religion, practicing good things, still unable to grasp and live the meaning with their whole heart. There are believers who are afraid of persecutions and criticisms. Do I believe in my God fully or am I a lukewarm believer – some one who has fear to declare my faith, who is afraid of others?

The figure of Judas is pathetic. He was the trustworthy one among the disciples. Thus he was the “finance minister” of Jesus group. He managed the money for the group. Still he was not satisfied with the money that they have. This becomes his curse. He was trapped in the “30 Silver Coins”, the Price of a Slave… He treated his Master and God as a slave in his greed. Don’t we meet such people in our world, who think money is everything? Worthier than relations? How many families go astray, because of the uncontrolled passion for money?

2. Annas & Caiaphas, Pharisees and their servants: they were representatives of Faith and morals in the Jewish community …
Paradoxically they were behind the crucifixion of Jesus and not the whole Jewish people. But their cunningness brought shame and disgrace to the majority of innocent Jews.
The high priest and religious heads show their complete degradation, in the process of Jesus’ crucifixion. They accuse Jesus so many things, for that Jesus was never responsible. Their cry for for Barabbas prove, how wicked they were. They wanted to annihilate Jesus, because he was a “threat” to their “ritualism” and mal practices.
Can we claim that we are better? How much we fear the truth?
How open we are regarding the truth?
It is “better that one man should die rather than the people” This was the idea of Caiaphas – the high priest: Are we really called to save or to kill?
3. Pilate & Herod (not in John’s Passion Narration): These politicians are utter failure in their duty. John doesn’t talk about Herod in the Process of Jesus. But other Evangelists do. Both of them found in Jesus no guilt to punish. Still they were compelled to do some thing to please the leaders.
Pilate scourged Jesus and handed him over to them to be crucified …for what accusations?
The helplessness of some politicians before corruption and power are clear in these 2 unworthy and weak leaders. Power was their only aim.
Power, it makes man inhuman. He will do any thing to preserve it. The history can provide us many examples for it.
Do I have power? For what purpose do I use it? For righteousness or for my own safety and Position and growth?

4. Mary mother of Jesus and her sister, Mary, wife of Clopas, Mary of Magdala, John, Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus: The women were considered as weak gender in the Jewish – oriental world. But only they had the courage to be with Jesus and to be in communion with him. John is also with them. He was the youngest of the disciples.

Weakness is something relative. People, who may be unable to do some thing, can do certain thing. In that manner every one is weak. But God is near to the weak. The Weak can easily approach God.

Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus –they were no official disciples of Jesus. They practiced their faith in secret. But they were real and strong believers. Faith is not something external.
Now we are staying before Jesus and his cross.
To which group we belong?
What does he tell me and you?
Let us listen to him in silence…

Fr Thomas Kalathil

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