This Sunday is Palm Sunday and traditionally, palm branches are blessed before Mass, and the Gospel reading is longer than usual, since it narrates Jesus’ Passion story. This year’s Gospel reading comes from Matthew 27. Pilate washed his hands in attempt to shift responsibility for condemning Jesus to death, but it was all useless, as we confess everytime we pray the Creed in Mass, Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate” – his cowardly compromise will never be forgotten. So whenever Christians try to avoid witnessing to the truth out of fear of suffering, they are just like Pilate. We cannot wash away the judgments of our consciences but must treat our neighbours responsibly. If Christians do not build up a culture of life, the world’s culture of death will reign, and there will be more children murdered, poor people exploited, and families ruined. Jesus not only suffers for us, but He also suffers with us. We can unite our sufferings with Christ and offer them up to the Father, helping us atone for our own sins and beg God to show mercy on others.