The crucifixion of Christ answers the deepest questions of the heart and reveals to us our true identity – sinners in need of redemption but also called to be transformed by grace into adopted sons and daughters of God!
…That we are loved beyond our comprehension by our Father in heaven, who sent His Son to empty Himself – to become Incarnate in human nature to fulfill the Father’s will in loving obedience… unleashing the mercy and graces to save us through the cross… and by means of that grace, to send the Holy Spirit into our hearts so where before there was darkness, now God might dwell within us!
The Crucifixion leads us to the answer for every question about the desires of our hearts! The answer about the meaning of love - that it consists in self-emptying and selfless giving, willing the good of another. Loving God above all other creatures and things.
The crucifixion is the answer to the meaning of truth: why we exist and for what end … of who God is .... a Trinity of loving communion. The truth of our fallen nature and the effect of our sins, when we see the savior run through with nails for our offenses.
The crucifixion reveals the true nature of love while also revealing the true nature and horror of sin. The cross reveals the meaning we can draw from suffering and acceptance of trials and tribulations.
The crucifixion is the answer to how we live our lives in our vocations and work and relations with each other. Look to the cross. The answer to true wisdom and strength. The answer to how when we are weak that we are really strong. The answer to how we are saved and what we must do to attain eternal life … for our Lord tells us there is no resurrection with our passing through the crucifixion, as He says: Unless a seed fall to the earth and dies, it bears no fruit. “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
The essential meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is not found in nails and pain, but rather the perfect obedience to the Father’s will, despite the nails and suffering. It is paradoxical, but on the cross, we see a happy man! Why? Because happiness and love consist in doing God’s will and willing the good of another – Christ was happy because he was saving us all. Christ’s brutal suffering evidences the authenticity of His love, revealing the mystery of God’s love for each of us and our true dignity. That love is not a feeling or emotion, but a willed gift of self! Through Christ’s gift of self on the cross, we become adopted sons and daughters through grace. True love bears great fruit!
The Cross reveals without doubt, that the will of the Father was all that mattered to Jesus – not calculation of outcomes. It was not the desired happy result that was to flow from His actions that motivated and inspired them but the filial desire to do His Fathers will. This is a model for us… seek first God’s will and he will transform everything to the good!
We recall on Good Friday the essence of our faith - to embrace the cross and heed our blessed Lord's command to take up our crosses daily and follow him. What does this mean? It means to do the will of God daily every moment, in the smallest things. Obedience to the will of God and complete abandonment to his divine providence. The cross teaches us that all things work to the good for those who love God.
To empty ourselves of our sinful attachments by choosing a life of authentic love and to walk in the truth of who we are as revealed in the crucifixion - sinners in need of redemption but also sins and daughters of God called to an intimate union with the Trinity and one another forever in heaven.
We must admit the cross is a paradox … a mystery that transcends human understanding. It is a stumbling block to the worldly and yet the source of life and wisdom for the faithful. The crucifixion stands at the center of God's plan of salvation for the human race. It is the reason Christ came into the world. It is the manifestation of all truth and love and is the path to happiness and joy the world can never give.
The humility of Jesus submitting to the cross out of love is a model for us. Humility key to embracing the cross. To admit our sins and need for conversion.
Taking up our cross and following Christ is also free choice. Jesus does not impose the cross on anyone. He drew all nations to himself while pinned to the wood of the cross. He invites us to join him and make his paschal mystery the very rule of our lives.
Even if we run away from the cross in this life, we find suffering, but we find it alone –without Christ and this leads to discouragement and despair. Jesus said, “in the world you will find tribulation. But take courage, I have conquered the world." We too overcome all of life’s sufferings and trials through uniting them with Christ on the cross!
Jesus has destroyed sin and death using the weapon of the cross. What seemed failure and weakness is transformed into the means for salvation. So too for us, the way of self-emptying love found in the cross is the way we encounter God's saving grace, and receive His very life and indwelling in our souls.
On this Good Friday, let us pray that we embrace the wisdom of the cross as true followers of Christ and thereby overcome sin and death with a love that is stronger than death. Peace+ DDG ;- ) \\