In his new apostolic exhortation, Sacramentum caritatis, Benedict XVI reminds us of the heart of Good Friday prayer: "A contemplative gaze 'upon him whom they have pierced.'" (John 19:37)
Today we mourn the Christ whom we have handed over to be tortured and executed with such brutality. One of my teachers once said, "People like to argue about who killed Christ. The only real answer is you and me."
If we are realistic enough to admit the anger, pride, and selfishness in ourselves, we begin to learn in our heart that we are a little contributor to our world's immense systems of violence, fear, danger, and oppression. If we are humble enough to admit our sin, our self-centeredness, and our rotten joy at pretending to be the center of the universe, then we can begin to see Jesus Christ whom we have pierced in every victim of war and economic injustice, in every abandoned old person and in every starving child.