Tuesday, March 24, 2015

“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”

“The humble, simple souls, who are little enough to see the bigness of God in the littleness of a Babe, are therefore the only ones who will ever understand the reason of His visitation. He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: ‘you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all.” ― Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895 – 1979: American Archbishop)

Gospel Text: (JN 8:21-30)
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

We must learn to look on Christ crucified to learn the depths of God’s care for us. So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am”(Jn 8:28). When we gaze on the uplifted Christ on the Cross we will begin to understand how passionately he cares about us. “God is love” and nowhere else can we see this better than the explosive figure on the Cross.

Think about this today, God, who created the universe was so anxious to prove His fondness for us that He asked His Son to die a horrifying death on the cross for each one of us personally. This fact should utterly boggle our minds and hearts!

I heard a story years ago of a priest who was visiting the Holy Land and bought a crucifix for his parish. The strict Israeli security told him that they must X-Ray the Crucifix for explosives. The priest thought to himself if only they knew how explosive the cross really is!

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