MANILA, Philippines – Do we condemn Jesus Christ to death and save another king?
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle asked Catholics on Good Friday, March 30, to remember the chain of events leading to Christ's death on the cross – and to reflect particularly on the question posed by Pontius Pilate to a crowd. (READ: TRANSCRIPT: Cardinal Tagle's homily on Good Friday 2018)
Pontius Pilate had asked the gathering if Jesus Christ should be put to death. The crowd replied that Jesus must be crucified since they had no other king but Caesar.
Tagle said this question is one which Catholics must consider because of its relevance to crucial decisions we make in our lives.
"Tinatanong tayo ngayon muli. Ipapako ba sa krus si Hesus? Papayagan ba natin ipako sa krus si Hesus? O baka mayroon tayo ibang proprotektahan na hari?" he asked.
(We are being asked again. Do we nail Jesus to the cross? Do we allow Jesus to be crucified? Or maybe we are protecting another king?)
He pointed out how the people who condemned Christ to death made a choice to protect Caesar.
"Sino ba ang tunay naming hari? Sino ang hari na aming proprotektahan? Ang pinili nila ang caesar. Ang Caesar ay alagaan, ang Caesar ay protektahan," said Tagle.
(Who is our true king? Who is the king we will protect? They chose the Caesar. The Caesar is to be taken care of, protected.)
The Manila Archbishop said that the choice between Jesus and another "king" can present itself in major decisions in lives of Catholics.
He narrated the story of a couple who were about to have a baby but were contemplating having an abortion because they felt they did not have the resources to raise it.
"Will you substitute the life of this human being for the Caesars of convenience, money, and having no more problems?" he asked.
In the end, the couple decided to have the baby. Tagle himself met the child when she was 8 years old.
This story shows that so much hangs on the balance of a single choice, Tagle told his audience.
"Which king will you save? Maybe it is Jesus we are nailing to the cross again. Choose: Who will you save and who will you nail to the cross?" he asked toward the end of his homily. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.