We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
So Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.
Jesus is condemned to death by Pontius Pilate following the accusations of the chief priests, elders and scribes. He is treated with hatred and contempt, and the crowd bay for His blood. They will not listen to reason and Pilate, for fear of rioting, grants them their wish.
Many forcibly displaced people flee their homes in the face of similar death sentences and threats. They look for anywhere they can go to escape and save their lives. We think especially of the people of Syria, over six and a half million have been forced to flee since the civil war began in 2011. Peace seems a remote possibility and international efforts are failing. Do we act like Pilate, fearful and washing our hands of this situation? Or do we care for their needs and ensure that these are met?
We pray for all who flee their homes and the world they know in an effort to save their lives. We ask that they may be kept safe and that their material needs may be cared for. May they not face the same hatred that Jesus faced from the crowds.
I love you, Jesus, my love above all things,
And I repent with my whole heart of having offended you.
Never permit me to separate myself from you again,
Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.