Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 

John 19:17 – 20 

Some years ago, I walked with my family through the majestic St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. It is an awe-inspiring testament to humanity’s capacity to create beauty from the materials the earth provides. The churches of Rome and Florence overflow with the treasures of the of the world’s great artists and artisans. 

There is nothing more beautiful than Michelangelo’s Pieta. Smaller than you would imagine and shielded behind a Perspex window. It is surrounded by viewers from every part of the world. It speaks of the tragedy that is the death of Jesus, it is humanity expressed at its weakest moment, of a life ebbed away, of a mother bereft of her child, of the fragility of who we are, a reminder of our shared humanity, of despair, of loss. 

Michelangelo has captured this one moment as an expression of the tentative unfolding of God’s plan. For from these depths arises nothing less than a transformation of the world, a promise that we too will participate in this – the most extraordinary story – known to us. But the Easter event is not yet with us, our anticipation must rest like Jesus in the tomb, to await the fullest possibility – that God will raise him up. 

These coming days you are invited to enter into the Church’s sacred Triduum, its three days of reflection, penance, quiet and then joyous celebration. May you be blessed with every Easter blessing. 


Mr Peter Douglas 

Director of Faith and Mission