After Pilate had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them: “I find no crime in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again: “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a robber.

John 18:38b-40

Pilate finds no particular crimes to charge Jesus with, so he gives in to the pressure of the accusers and thus the Nazarene is condemned to death.

It seems we can hear you say:
“I have been condemned to death;
so many people who seemed to love and understand me
have listened to lies
and accused me.
They did not understand my words.
They handed me over to judgement and condemnation.
To death by crucifixion, the most ignominious death.”

More than a few of our families suffer because of betrayal by a spouse, the person we hold dearest. Whatever became of the joy of being close, of living in unison? What happened to the sense of being completely one? What became of the words “from this day forward” which were once spoken?

I look to you, Jesus, the victim of betrayal,
and experience with you the moment when the love and friendship
which had grown in our life as a couple fell apart,
and I sense deep in my heart the wounds of trust betrayed,
confidence lost, security gone.

I look to you, Jesus, at this very moment
when I stand judged by someone who has forgotten the bond
that united us in total self-giving.
Only you, Jesus, can understand me, can give me courage,
can speak to me words of truth, even though I struggle to understand them.
You can give me the strength
that enables me not to judge in return,
not to succumb, for love of the little ones
who await me at home,
for I am now their only support.

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