Lent has always brought to mind truths I personally need to remember such as the reality that every sin committed is in effect my joining in with the crowds shouting of Christ, “Crucify Him!”
Rarely do I see our participation in the crucifixion discussed outside of Lent. Scripture tells us that Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto ME.” This is a good starting point for coming to recognize in what ways we say our own, “Crucify Him!”
The least of these, an example.
The person who ignores Church teaching on artificial birth control such as the pill, which studies show causes spontaneous abortions, is our “doing unto the least” by our choice to use that pill. Abortion is another obvious “doing unto the least” and thus done unto Christ. Each abortion is a shout of “crucify Him!”
It gets more difficult to see when one considers artificial reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). After all, these are people who want to have their own children. They love each other and they love the baby they have using IVF or other aspects of ART. Yet, as admirable as it is to want children. Many conceived babies die in little flat sterile dishes sitting in warming units in a laboratory. Others are frozen and die from that. Still others are discarded based on some quality control criteria. We are “doing unto the least” and thus these deaths are part of the cry to “Crucify Him!”
IN THE FAMILY
I think about my moments of impatience with my family. My husband and children are part of that “least of these” in my life. How I treat them, the loving moments, the moments of impatience or grumpiness, these are all part of how I am treating Christ. So, I should realize that when I am impatient I am again saying to Christ who commands me to love them, “Crucify Him!”
IN THE CULTURE
Culturally, our votes also reflect a “Crucify Him!” when we permit the care of the handicapped to be cut, while increasing money given to the able bodied who are not working (no matter the reason). In this case, the able bodied person on welfare is not the “least of these” the way the handicapped, the disabled, and the elderly are the “least of these” and if budget cuts are happening the money to the able bodied should be cut BEFORE that to the handicapped, disabled, and elderly.
Dear Lord, please help me to recognize who in my life is part of that “least of these” and to remember that how I treat other people is how I am treating YOU. Please help me to see this connection between my sin and Your crucifixion. Thank you for Lent and good homilies. Amen