God So Loved the World
The anguish of the Passion of the Lord Jesus cannot fail to move to pity even the most hardened hearts, as it constitutes the climax of the revelation of God’s love for each of us. Saint John observes: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). It is for love of us that Christ dies on the cross! Throughout the course of the millennia, a great multitude of men and women have been drawn deeply into this mystery and they have followed him, making in their turn, like him and with his help, a gift to others of their own lives. They are the saints and the martyrs, many of whom remain unknown to us. Even in our own time, how many people, in the silence of their daily lives, unite their sufferings with those of the Crucified One and become apostles of a true spiritual and social renewal! What would man be without Christ? St. Augustine observes: “You would still be in a state of wretchedness, had he not shown you mercy. You would not have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have passed away had he not come to your aid. You would be lost, had he not come.” So why not welcome him into our lives? Let us pause…to contemplate his disfigured face: it is the face of the Man of Sorrows, who took upon himself the burden of all our mortal anguish. His face is reflected in that of every person who is humiliated and offended, sick and suffering, alone, abandoned, and despised. Pouring out his blood, he has rescued us from the slavery of death, he has broken the solitude of our tears, he has entered into our every grief and our every anxiety. Brothers and Sisters! As the cross rises up on Golgotha, the eyes of our faith are already turned towards the dawning of the new Day, and we begin to taste the joy and splendor of Easter.