It is good for us to try to understand better the meaning of Christ's death. We must get beyond external appearances and cliches. We need to put ourselves really and truly into the scenes which we are re-living during these days: Jesus' sorrow, his Mother's tears, the disciples' flight, the courage of the holy women, the daring of Joseph and Nicodemus who ask Pilate for the body of our Lord.
Let us, above all, come close to Jesus in his death and to his cross which stands out in silhouette above the summit of Golgotha. But we must approach him sincerely and with the interior recollection that is a sign of christian maturity. The divine and human events of the passion will then pierce our soul as words spoken to us by God to uncover the secrets of our heart and show us what he expects of our lives.
Many years ago I saw a painting which made a deep impression on me. It showed the cross of Christ with three angels beside it. One was weeping disconsolately ¡ one held a nail in his hand, as if trying to convince himself it was true; and the third was rapt in prayer. Here we have a program for each of us: to cry, believe and pray.
Here before the cross, we should have sorrow for our sins and for those of all men, for they are responsible for Jesus' death. We should have faith to penetrate deep into this sublime truth which surpasses our understanding and to fill ourselves with amazement at God's love. And we should pray so that Christ's life and death may become the model and motivation for our own life and self-giving. Only thus will we earn the name of conquerors: for the risen Christ will conquer in us, and death will be changed into life.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 10, Christ's death is the Christians's life, of Christ is Passing By.
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