As we marched,we'd take time to pause and take turns reciting parts of the Passion. Children stopped their playing to smile at us. A woman getting out of her car with Easter flowers took the copy of the Passion one of the teens handed her, smiled, and made the Sign of the Cross. An elderly man talked to Fr. Ron and asked for a personal blessing and a special blessing for his house. A woman rocked comfortably on her porch, eating popcorn and watching as if we were the best show around. Others gathered on their porches silently reading along with us the copies of the Passion handed to them by our intrepid runners.
Twice we stopped by trees surrounded by ribbons, stuffed animals, and Peace Signs. Places of blood and death. Possibly places of murder. I shivered, my heart breaking for the sorrows experienced there. As we read the Passion in each place of death, I thought "Why should we think we're bringing Jesus' death here? He is already here. He continues to die in every death until the end of time. The people here understand the agony of His crucifixion - His murder - better than many. What more can we give them?"
The answer came to me in the festive white robes of the clergy, and the words we sang - "Jesus, remember me..." That was what we wanted our neighbors to know, deep in their hearts: Jesus, Son of God, DOES remember every one of us, in our individual sorrows, tears, deaths, loneliness, feelings of abandonment. Jesus does remember us and is with us and will bring us to His heavenly kingdom where He has prepared a place for each of us. He has bled and died with us. He will, through His death, bring us to glorious everlasting life.