Passion has become one of those words, like “charity”, which has undergone a certain diminution in meaning. It conveys the idea of an intense interest, or love of something (“I have a passion for tennis!”), but no longer the connection of this with suffering.
But the two are connected, and amplified on Good Friday. For this is about a Bridegroom’s love for his Bride, and the suffering necessarily bound up in that perfected love. “Love hurts” is a nauseating cliche, but it’s true, and the fact that it’s true is messed up. This world can be an insane and hateful place. Or rather, we can be insane and hateful, seeing as how nailing people to trees is an idea we invented. Yet underneath all that we are all people desperately needing to love and be loved. And evidently we are also worth dying for.