The proposed price for a 24 seat suite at the next Super Bowl is in excess of $30,000 per seat. Some people are passionate about football that they are willing to pay that price. The record price for a classic comic book is over $2 million dollars. For a work of art, the record is over $200 million. When people feel strongly enough about something, they are willing to pay the price.
The Greek word from which we get our word “passion” means to feel or experience something strongly. It can be good or bad depending on the context. It can mean great physical suffering or feeling so strongly about something that any price is worth paying.
In my opinion too often we think that the meaning of “the passion of Christ” refers only to his physical suffering at the end of his life. This fails to take into account the passion for all people that Jesus showed throughout his ministry. He felt strongly enough about the poor and the marginalized that he gave up a safer and more comfortable life in Nazareth with his family. He was willing to pay any price to give them the message of hope and comfort in God’s love for them.
St. Paul and St. Francis were also examples of people who were willing to pay the price because they were passionate about letting all people know they were loved, that they had worth and dignity.
Today we show what we value by the cost we are willing to pay for something. Are we passionate enough about life in all things that we willingly pay the cost to support that life? It may not be a cost in dollars alone. It can be the cost in our time as well.