I never really understood just what “The Passion” meant until just a few years ago. I’m not a “cradle Catholic” and the Protestant churches I went to never performed Passion plays, so the term was a little lost on me. I knew the story about Jesus being crucified, but I just didn’t know that there was a term for it that encompassed that period of time. It wasn’t until we moved to Nashville and began attending St. Edwards that I was even exposed to it. For me it was like an ambush. It was Palm Sunday and as I sat in the pew, ready to participate in the Mass, a drama unfolded right before my eyes. In this little play, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and his eventual crucifixion was played out. It was shocking, horrifying and gut wrenching and this was just a little community drama done in church. What Mel Gibson has done with his movie, The Passion Of The Christ is take it to a whole new level.
The “Passion” existed before Mel Gibson decided to make a movie about it. It is a staple of the Catholic faith and of many other Christian faiths. But why? Because it’s easy to forget, that’s why. As we go through out daily lives and deal with all the issues that face us, it’s easy to lose sight of why we believe what we believe. Every faith has some form of “refocusing” where you’re supposed to turn your attention to your faith for a period of time. For Catholics, this time of year is called Lent and it’s the time of year where you’re supposed to remember why you’re a Christian and what being a Christian means. On Palm Sunday the Passion is the focus of attention and forms the cornerstone of the Christian faith – Jesus was the son of God and he died for our sins. He died to absolve us of Original Sin and to provide us with everlasting life.