This year we hear the Passion Story as told by St. Matthew. Both St. Mark and Matthew tell the story in light of Bible prophesies, so that “what was said by the prophet would be fulfilled.” (See especially Psalms 22, 69 and Isaiah) The earliest mention of the Lord’s passion appears in 1 Cor: Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose from the dead on the 3rd day and appeared to various people. So, some scripture scholars believe the first stories to be “fleshed out” were resurrection stories. After all, the faith is based on the resurrection and it is the resurrection that makes the passion meaningful. So, in a sense, the passion story was a normal follow-up to the resurrection stories. We have to read the passion story in light of the resurrection. Jesus, who died such a horrific, shameful death was totally vindicated in His resurrection. “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.” Thanks be to God.