To Be, Or Not To Be: A Seminarian

A blog by the Diocese of Brooklyn


Countdown to Ordination: Day 63

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:00 am | Seminarians

We’ve been away fro a few days, enjoying a little hiatus for Easter break.

For those who are still up to reading a chapter of the Gospel each day, today’s passage will sound familiar. The Gospel according to Matthew: Chapter 27 is the same that was heard two weeks ago on Palm Sunday. What struck me in my reading today is the fact that Pontius Pilate offered the crowds a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.

You might remember that Simon Peter is sometimes referred to as “Simon Bar-Jonah,” that is, son of Jonah. And Abba is what Jesus asked His followers to call God. So “Barabbas,”  is a Hebrew name meaning “son of the father.”

It’s so ironic that at the end of this Gospel, the crowds are given the choice between the Son of the Father and the son of the father. Jesus is obviously the right choice. Barabbas we don’t even know. The only fact about him we have is that he is a criminal. Perhaps the Jewish crowds recognized his name and popularity for some other reason and so they chose him (a criminal) over Jesus (the innocent one).

In our own lives, we often choose the fake promise, the imitation hope, “the Splenda Jesus” instead of “the raw sugarcane Jesus,” I guess you could say. I suppose at times we’re afraid of “counting calories”  because we know they cost more work, more exercise, more discipline. It’s easier to take a substitute.

For our priests and future priests, the true choice might need to be making the difficult decisions  of changing schedules, correcting employees and parishioners, re-assigning workers, and preaching on difficult issues that cost the priest his popularity. Let us pray that they always make the true choice, even if it be more difficult, lest they should betray the Son of Glory for the hometown boy.

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