Jesus is Condemned to Death
Jesus is brought forward in plain view of the assembled people and the crowd voices their desire that He be crucified. Pilate then washes his hands to symbolically cleanse himself of the guilt of Jesus’ death. Jesus is thus publically condemned and ordered to be crucified.
The bread and wine are brought forward in plain view of the people and the priest and people declare their desire that these gifts be transformed into Jesus’ Body and Blood.
“Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer…It will become for us the bread of life.”
“Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer…It will become our spiritual drink.”
The priest then washes his hands to symbolically cleanse himself in preparation for offering this sacrifice. Pilate’s act was a distortion of Truth and Justice; but the priest’s function at Mass is to proclaim Truth and Justice in the Holy Sacrifice of the altar.
[For an explanation of this series of meditations on the Way of the Cross see this Introduction.]