New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Christ's Cross - a message of sorrow and salvation - Pope John Paul II

Christ's Cross - a message of sorrow and salvation

Although he was the light to enlighten all nations, Jesus was destined in his own day and in every age to be a sign disparaged, a sign opposed, a sign of contradiction.

This had been true for the prophets of Israel before him. It was true for John the Baptist and would be true for the lives of his future followers. He performed great signs and miracles: he healed the sick, multiplied the loaves and fishes, calmed tempests, restored the dead to life. Crowds flocked to him from everywhere and listened to him carefully because he spoke with authority. And yet he met harsh opposition from those who refused to open their hearts and minds to him. Finally we find the most tangible expression of this contradiction in his suffering and death on the Cross. Simeon's prophecy came true - true regarding the life of Jesus, and true regarding the lives of those who follow him, in every land and in every age. So the Cross becomes light; the Cross becomes salvation. Isn't this perhaps the Good News for the poor and for all who know the bitter taste of suffering?

The cross of poverty, the cross of hunger, the cross of every other sort of suffering can be transformed, since Christ's Cross has become a light in our world. It is a light of hope and salvation. It gives meaning to all human suffering. It brings with it the promise of an eternal life, free from sorrow, free from sin.

The Cross was followed by the Resurrection. Death was vanquished by life. And all who are united to the crucified and risen Lord can look forward to sharing in this selfsame victory.

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