It's Maundy Thursday, 1990 and thousands of Philippinos are reenacting the last agony of Jesus. Barefoot, over the hot stone streets in scorching sun, they are dragging heavy wooden crosses, flogging their bare backs bloody with glass-studded whips, grizzly Lenten rituals in which at least a dozen people will be nailed to crosses, seeking through pain and suffering, redemption. It is tradition, so in a Moslem shrine in Bangladesh, a woman worshiper offering prayers extended her arms toward one of the crocodiles which live there; it bit off her hand and swallowed it.

People continue to do so many odd, self-humiliating acts, not understanding how to just receive the free gift of eternal life. Praise God, Jesus paid it all!

-Associated Press, 4/12/90