But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
    and with his stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5 (RSV-CE)

Fr. Brian Ditullio dug up this reflection that I wrote years ago on the Passion. I thought I would share it here today along with a reminder that the Divine Mercy Novena begins today. The disciples watched Jesus enter Jerusalem hoping that he would be an earthly Messiah who would conquer their oppressors only to see him act as a a slave by washing the feet of the apostles yesterday, and to die on the cross today. But so much can change in just three days. The staff at St. Paul Street Evangelization joins all of our evangelists, members, and their families in prayer during these most holy of days. – Adam Janke, program director


“Years ago, a facebook friend by the name of Adam Janke posted this amazing reflection on that song “Were you there.” I thought, given that it is Good Friday, the Friday in which the entire world changed, I would share this powerful meditation.

“Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”

To think that God, Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen, would love me…would love me. God who is above all things, looks at me and says “You are special, I created you, and I love you”.

To think that He, my Lord and my King, would suffer and die for me, before I was even made alive. As his servant, he is offering me his sacrifice. How many kings will die for their subjects crimes? Yet my Lord loved me this much- that he stretched out his arms, and bore the weight of my sin.

“Were you when they nailed him to the tree?”

Lord Jesus, my Savior! You took up my sin and said that you wanted me to be in your royal family. To be one day in heaven. Any words that I can offer fall infinitely short of how much you love me.

I can only imagine what it would be like to fill the shoes of Mary, your mother. To have watched on as you made the perfect sacrifice for those very people who were nailing you to a tree. I can only imagine the anguish she felt to watch the child that came from her flesh, beaten, tortured, and crucified.

“Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?”

You died because I made the decision to sin. I helped the Roman soldiers nail the stakes into your Holy Body. I aided as they scourged you and spilt your precious blood. How can I find myself anywhere but on my knees?

I can only imagine the thoughts of the disciples as your body was laid in the tomb. Bewildered, heartbroken, confused.

And yet, in all my despair for the Passion,

“Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?”

The story isn’t over, in our tears of sadness we can start to cry tears of joy! On the third day you were raised from the dead. And the old has passed away, and the new has come! We can rejoice and blow the trumpets and sound the horns! For our King has come! You live and you reign forever and ever!

And me….a servant….so small in the big picture. Living a life among billions of others and perhaps billions who will come. You love me.

“Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.”

Thank you Lord, as we approach Easter, for all you did to show us how much you loved us. Come quickly!