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Were You There


Happy Easter!

I rescheduled the post I had for today in order to post this one because for some reason I felt compelled to write this one. I usually do not write pretty much anything that deals with my religious beliefs, but, as I wrote before, I just felt compelled to write this reflection based on the foundation of my core belief.

For the past few days, the hymn, ‘Were You There’ has been on my mind as it is a hymn that is specific to Good Friday and symbolically, what it means for us in the Catholic faith. The hymn asks several questions, the first of which is ‘Were you there when you crucified my Lord?’ In each stanza, a question is asked three times, three also symbolic as it reminds us of Peter’s denial of Jesus, the third day in which Jesus rose from the dead and three as in the Holy Trinity.

Now back to the first question. It asks is if we were there when we crucified our Lord. And the answer to that is yes. We were all present because He died to save each and every one of us our sins, for the people who had gone before, for the people who were present, for all of us on earth right now and for future generations to come until He comes to pass judgement on us all. The only different line in the hymn that is present in all the stanzas states ‘Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble’ and it reminds us that we condemned a man to death because we did not believe, we did not understand what he was saying, we are too wrapped up in our own little world to acknowledge the One who gives us life. We tremble because we know that we cast stones at a sinless person, while we, soaked up in our sin, believed that we are doing the right thing, that by ignoring a hungry person, we are doing the right thing, that by gossiping and bad talking someone, we are better than them.

The second question asks, ‘Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?’ and again, of course we were! Our sins were what made that nail unbearable, our sins are what caused him terrible pain, a pain like no other pain. The nail was the symbol of our sin, as it drove into his flesh and tore him apart; it was the spiritual nails of sin that destroyed Him, nails which we have all contributed to driving into his flesh over and over again.

The third question wanted to know if we ‘were there when they laid him in the tomb?” Yes, we were there, we were present when He was laid in the tomb. It was for our sins that he was laid there and it was the ultimate price to pay for us sinners. He came down from heaven to live amongst us so that he could understand what we felt, how we think, what motivated our actions, and he understood. He understood so well, which is why His death was very painful. That is why he died for us, to show us he understood our joys, sorrows and fears and through His death, we are saved.

The final question states, ‘Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?’ We were there but we did not acknowledge it. We could not believe that what Jesus said was going to happen, would happen. Although every year we remember the sacrifice that Jesus did for us, we still forget. We still do not want to acknowledge that he is the risen Lord, the Christ, the Messiah. He came to save us, and we still are not thankful or grateful for all the small mercies that we are granted daily.

Let us not forget that He is risen, He is alive and He sacrificed himself for each and every one of us. Always ask for forgiveness daily and never forget that we were there when he was crucified on that cross on Calvary so that we can all try to emulate the life that he lived and not cast judgement on others because we are unable to do so since we are all sinners here on this earth.