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    The Real Story

    The true meaning of the Passion of our Lord was not evident to those who played a role in it, but we can know the deep work that God is doing


    Likewise, a Knight will often not see the deep work that the Lord is doing, but he will stay at his post, knowing God is working through him.

    A short spiritual reflection rooted in our specific calling as Knights will be a regular feature of each Knightline. The first few of these will be reflections on the five pillars of a Knight and will draw on the Sunday Mass readings.

    This reflection is on the pillar of “staying at our post.” For more on this topic, view the “Spiritual Warfare” episode of the K of C-produced “Into the Breach” video series, available for free at”

    The story of the Lord’s Passion, the focus of this Sunday’s Liturgy and of Holy Week, plays out on two levels. The first level, on the surface, is the one that the players in the drama see. The second level, hidden and deeper, is where the Lord is really accomplishing his purpose.

    For most of the characters in this scene — Pilate and Herod, the religious persecutors, Judas the betrayer, the frightened and scattered disciples, the shouting crowds and the soldiers who lash and pierce Jesus — this is simply the story of a man’s death. To some it seems a tragedy, and to others a victory. But whether it is just or unjust, an act of political expediency or the end of religious movement, it is no more than the drama of a man, a victim or a troublemaker, being put to death against his will.

    Most of the characters in the story see only the surface, not the depths. They do not see the real story; they do not know what is really happening. They think they are in control of the action, but they are wrong; all along it is Jesus who is in control. Pilate doesn’t see. He is an earthly judge who thinks he has the power of life and death in his hands, but Jesus says to him “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above” (Jn 19:11). The Jewish religious leaders don’t understand. They think they are saving the Temple by arranging the death of this dangerous religious fanatic. But they are, in fact, destroying the Temple through their infidelity and by conspiring against the One who has the power to “raise it up” in three days. (Jn 2:19). Jesus, the true Temple — the place where God dwells in his fullness — will be resurrected by his own power! King Herod doesn’t see. He thinks he is the one in charge as he orders Jesus about and demands to see an impressive sign. Jesus does not even bother to respond to him. In all these situations, the characters think they are putting Jesus on trial; but it is really they who are on trial before their true Lord. And, despite all appearances to the contrary, Jesus is the master of events, the one with his hands on the controls.

    Throughout the Passion narrative we also sense that even while Jesus is dealing with the people around him, the real conversation — the important one — is between himself and his Heavenly Father. The most important words, the ones that show what is really happening, are the words Jesus speaks to his Father in the Garden and from the Cross: “Father, if it is your will take this cup from me. But not my will but your will be done”; “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they doing”; “Father into your hands I commend my spirit”; and “It is finished.”

    What then is the real story here? It is not that of a trial, but of a sacrifice — the Sacrifice. And Jesus is not only the victim, he is also the High Priest. He is the driving force, the main actor in the central event of all human history. Though hidden from the eyes of those around him, this suffering and seemingly helpless Jesus is once and for all redeeming the human race. He is conquering sin and death and freeing the whole world from its bondage to Satan. The disciples could not see it. Herod and Pilate could not see it. The guards, the religious leaders, the crowds, could not see it. But we can — we know the end of the story. We know the hidden drama of what Jesus was doing.

    There is a lesson here for us Knights, we who are committed to being loyal to our King. It is often the case that when we look at the story of our own lives, we do not see the real work that the Lord is doing. Sometimes we only see the surface events, and we miss what God is accomplishing in deeper and hidden ways through our suffering, our confusion, our boredom, our temptations and our trials. At such times it is more important than ever that we stay at our posts. The current crisis we are facing is one such time. The disciples did not know that Jesus was master of events, and they fled. But we can see the end of the story, and we will not. Even when we can’t see how events in our lives or the world around us fit into God’s plan, we will be faithful. We know the One who has everything in his hands, and we will stay at our post, here at the foot of the Cross. What an honor, what a privilege to play our role in God’s plan. What a gift — to be one of his Knights. May God give us the grace to be faithful to this high calling.

    Vivat Jesus!

    Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. Access Knightline’s monthly archives.



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