By Lucia Book, Emily Fung and Anthony To
Have you ever wondered how much Christ suffered when he sacrificed Himself to save us? Some of us in the Catholic Society joined our teachers and the pastoral worker for a Mass and the Official Blessing and Opening of ‘Arma Christi’ at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Yuen Long on 1st October 2021. The visit brought us answers to our questions.
The permanent exhibition, Arma Christi (‘Weapons of Christ’), showcases the Instruments of the Passion, the objects associated with the Passion of Christ. The weapons on display are some of the arms or weapons Christ used to achieve His conquest over the Devil or Satan. Although He died for us on a cross, he did so so that we may have eternal life. It was to save each and every one of us.
The replica instruments on display included The Cross on which Jesus was crucified (True Cross); The Crown of Thorns which were made by nuns in Chile; the pillar or the column where Jesus was whipped; the whip which was used to mete out the 39 lashes; The Nails inflicting the four wounds on His hands and feet; and even some of the 30 pieces of silver which was the sum paid to Judas for his betrayal of Christ. Each of the instruments were realistic replicas and as you look at them and you contemplate, you can feel the suffering Christ went through for us.
Our ex-Supervisor and the parish priest, Fr. Gervais, is the mastermind behind this exhibition and he shared briefly with us about it. He said he really felt a need for us to understand and really know how much Jesus has done to save us. This was why he came up with this idea to devote a part of the Church to display some of the instruments that were used by Christ to conquer Satan. Some of the items were purchased and some were made by nuns and had to be couriered to Hong Kong. Each and every one of the exhibits has their own value. Even the stone walls behind the cross are symbolic as they are the actual stones from the structure of Ss. Peter and Paul Church that were removed many years ago to make way for some window space.
One of the most special things in the exhibition was The Cross of Christ. The horizontal and vertical wood pieces are separated, which allows visitors to lift the wood and feel the weight that Jesus carried. As we tried lifting the horizontal bar of the Cross, we could not imagine how Jesus could bear to carry such a heavy cross while climbing up the hill. How much He must have suffered!!!
We could also see the size of the nail and the holes in the Cross. They were enormous!!! The nails on display were very thick and very long, and definitely not like any of the nails we have seen before. It must have brought lots of pain for Jesus when the nails were pounded through his hands and feet.
After seeing the exhibition, we all learned much more about what Jesus had been through, and how much He had suffered just to save us from our sins. Just imagining how the instruments were used on Jesus already made us feel the pain. We all know that the pain Jesus felt must have been a million times more than what we can even think of.
Arma Christi is a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice and being there at Ss. Peter and Paul at the foot of the Cross that morning, we had lost all sense of time contemplating. Now it is your turn to taste the weight of Christ’s torture. Arma Christi opens our eyes and our hearts.
This was definitely a meaningful, humbling and deep lesson. Let us give thanks to God for all He has given to us and especially for His son who even died for us on a Cross.