Posted by: Peadar Ban | April 2, 2012

Question for Monday of Holy Week

This is a little blurb I lifted from the Facebook page of  The Christian Book Corner :

“Today is Monday of Holy Week; the Holy Week of Our Lord’s Passion. We were struck by the second reading during the Office of Readings this morning, taken from a sermon by St. Augustine. There are four questions he asks of us during this little excerpt, four questions.

We will post one here each day until Thursday, since the last one is particularly appropriate for Holy Thursday, the day of The Last Supper, when Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Eucharist, His Body and Blood.

Here is the first question: Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them?

It’s a good question, isn’t it? Can you think of a good answer? Share it.”

Not much, is it?  Well, I meant that as an ironic question.

I have been thinking about how to answer Saint Augustine since first hearing the question this morning.  Funny thing, I’ve probably heard the question thirty or so times over as many years, and never thought to wonder what might be a good answer.  Maybe that’s a kind of answer in itself.

A lot of little answers flood my mind, especially answers to the second part of the question; the “what were they” part.  Right now, I’m thinking, “They were folks who thought they were just fine, thank you, and didn’t really need anyone dying for them.”

See what I mean?

What are your answers?  I’m very much interested.


  1. I may be misunderstanding the question, but, I will try to say this: WE ALL are “the sinners”….every single last one of us, no matter where we are or what our spiritual life is or isn’t. So, I guess that means we sinners are everywhere, and, at the time of Jesus’ death, they we all there, except the Church states that our Mother Mary was a special case, and I’m ok with that, but, for instance St. John there with Mother Mary was also one of the sinners…..Jesus died for him every bit as much as he died for you, me, persons guilty of all kinds of crimes, people innocent of abuses heaped upon them……..every last one of us for all time.

    One of the things that bothers me is this growing tendency in the Catholic Church to do what my fellow (prior to my joining) Evangelicals/Protestants have done–to name “sinners” as everyone outside of their little group, and “the blessed/chosen” as those of us inside their little group. I even go so far as to change the words of the little prayer called the Fatima prayer: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save of from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those OF US most in need of Thy mercy.”

    Maybe if we truly paused this Holy Week to recognize our own sinfulness, instead of pointing out the sins of others, begging God what I have to remind myself to pray: “Lord, please convert us all, beginning with me”, maybe then the Holy Spirit would work some wonders among us.

    • Ritagail, I don’t think you misunderstand the question at all. Thanks for taking the time to answer.


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