Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tremendous surprises

Today is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross; you can nod your thanks in its direction or get lost in the depths of its wonderfulness. Let's choose the latter. Jesus chose the cross at his Father's request, and we are the beneficiaries. We were separated irrevocably from God by the folly of our own choices with no way to bridge the gap. Jesus became the bridge. Jesus didn't just talk about mercy; through Him God showed mercy, he rained down mercy, he became mercy.

I have a friend, a Jehovah's Witness, who is confused about many aspects of orthodox Christian belief, but who has an especially difficult time with the fact that the cross is so significant a Christian symbol. Why, she asks, would you give such prominence to the instrument of torture that put Jesus to death?

I've never been completely satisfied with the answers I've given her. Today, I read this as part of my morning prayer and thought of her:
The cross, instrument of torture and death, raised aloft as a sign of glory, continues to confound the wisdom of this world. God's work of salvation stands human expectations on their head: humility is exaltation, wounds are healing, death is life.

This is the economy of God. In the middle of death, decay, winter, discouragement, politics, disgrace, scandal and sin, all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ (cf. 2Cor 1). In the midst of death, we are in life. We do not hope in princes, armies, wealth, talents, good fortune, intelligence, savvy or interpersonal skills. We place our hope in the Lord our God, who not only can bring glorious life out of nothing, but has done it and continues to do it for our sake and His glory.

How can you help loving Someone like that?


Therese Z said...

What beautiful readings today at Mass, too! The drawing of us all up to the Heart of Jesus as He hangs on the Cross, as the Fathers draws us to Him through Jesus.

If I remain still enough in the world, I can feel the pull on my heart.



Sample Text

We are grateful ladies with a point of view and a sense of humor. Like-hearted people are welcome. Others, too.

For a glimpse at our lighter side, hop over to In Dwelling.

E-mail us.

Sample text

"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Pres. Barack Obama, Feb 5, 2009