I was watching a TV programme on Bach. In one part of the programme, a well-known conductor was being interviewed. He spoke about the deep effect Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion had on him each time he listened to it or conducted it. He focused on a specific part of the music:
“Every time I get to that part of the music, I can’t stem the tears. Just talking to you about it makes me feel the suffering (PASSIONIS – Latin) and grief.” Passion” comes from the Latin root passio “to render.” So when we suffer, we have to submit to causes that deprive us of our freedom or well-being. (Passivity and Suffering in the Passion of Christ). He added quickly: “Not that I believe that the person being crucified was anything but a man. You don’t have to be a Christian to feel the pain and the tragedy of such suffering.”.
The tragedy is that this deeply sensitive man of music could not see that this Death means much more than a human tragedy; it was a Death that brings life; the only Death that can bring LIFE. Failure to grasp the meaning of this Death is what lies at the heart of tragedy.