Stoning prophets and erecting churches to their memory afterwards has been the way of the world through the ages. Today we worship Christ, but the Christ in the flesh we crucified. - Mahatma Gandhi: (1869 –1948: was the leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.)
Scripture Text: (HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9)
Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Yes, God so loved the world! And the love of God for the world, for all of us, was and is what has often been poetically called "the greatest love the world has ever known." We have the words of Jesus himself at the Last Supper, "There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.... This is my command, that you love one another." (Jn 15: 13 - 14, 17)
The Cross is nothing other than the love of God. The Cross that we venerate is not a symbol of death but rather a symbol of life-giving love, of divine love! St. Paul, writing to the Romans about sixty years after Christ's death, declared, "But see how God manifested his love for us: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5: 8) Yes, because of God's love for us and our world, we can see how the Cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life!
What remains for us is the challenge the Lord handed on to us, "Now I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (Jn 13: 34- 35)