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All Good Things
February 27, 2024

I'm Here

As we are now in another season of Lent, it is another season of reflection for me. This then might lead you to ask, what is it exactly that I am reflecting on this Lenten season? The simple answer to this question for me is based on one simple reason. In almost every if not every church or chapel I have gone to where Mass is celebrated, a crucifix is clearly present somewhere within the sanctuary or on the altar. There is one day that my primary reflection during mass all year round is based on. That day for me is the Friday of the Passion of the Lord, also known as Good Friday, where Jesus Christ makes the true sacrifice of His own life, that our souls may enter the Kingdom of Heaven one day. Every time I attend mass to receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, there is always one point where I find myself in deep contemplation while keeping my eyes on the crucifix within the sanctuary or on the altar, going into deep reflection and contemplation on His suffering and death this day, conquering death that we may enter into eternal life with Him one day through His resurrection on the third day.

A challenge I have taken on this Lent in relation to a New Year’s Resolution I made for 2024, was to read and interact with Scripture as a way of strengthening my own friendship and relationship with Christ Jesus. In taking up this challenge as a devotion, there is one scripture verse that jumps out to me from the Gospel of Mark as the main Gospel I have been studying so far this year, being that we are in Year B, the liturgical year of Mark. This verse comes from when Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, and He tells His disciples: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mk. 14:38 ESV Catholic Edition).

Every year on Good Friday as a tradition of mine, I watch Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and there are two scenes in the movie that no matter how many times I watch them, I can never get through them without shedding tears. Both scenes I am referring to showcase our

Blessed Mother and how she on this very sacred day, lives out this Gospel verse from Mark and exemplifies it for us. The first of the two scenes I am referring to is the Scourging at the Pillar where a great emphasis is placed on our Blessed Mother and how much she was suffering at that moment, watching her son suffer and get brutally scourged. While the high priests who demanded Pilate that he be crucified, all began to walk away and turn their backs as they could not watch such a horror, our Blessed Mother kept watch of her son and never left His side, despite how difficult and upsetting it clearly was for her. Keeping watch in such a way, shows the greatest love of a mother for her son possible, and it also serves as a model for us in our everyday lives in following Jesus’ command: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

The second scene of the movie for me where I cannot maintain a dry eye, is during the fourth station of the cross where Jesus meets his afflicted mother. This scene is done, emphasizing detail on Jesus’ first fall while carrying His cross, followed by Mother Mary running to her son. During this scene they also flash back to when Jesus was a little boy and fell where Mother Mary also ran to her son the exact same way, and when Jesus falls both as a child and while carrying His cross, she says to Him the same two words both times once she makes it to Him. “I’m here.”

My prayer this Lent, upon reflection of both scenes from Mel Gibson’s movie that I have described and how they relate to the Gospel verse from Mark’s Gospel, is that all of us as followers of Christ may be able to keep watch and pray without being afraid in the same way He urges His disciples to in Gethsemane, so that we too, like Mary our Blessed Mother, may be able to fervently say to our Lord and Savior on Good Friday, “I’m here.”

Daniel Cutrone, SFC '24

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