March 10, 2018
The Cross and Pain
When looking upon the Cross, we must never lose sight of the fact that on it Christ bore the griefs and sorrows of all of mankind. Likewise, we must never lose sight of the vision of the Church as a community of persons who participate and share in the suffering of all humanity, imitating the Lord’s suffering.
Christ sees the sufferings of Man and everything that befalls humanity as His own. Thus, Christian life is that which identifies itself with the estranged and those that are wounded. In this life one offers him and her self so that those who suffer can find salvation. In the same sense Christian life is that of a martyr, who offers his or her life so as to reveal God’s love to the world. There cannot be any type of Christian growth without this type of kenotic compassion, a compassion that is rooted in humility. When the Church fully expresses this humble compassion, it is a true expression of Divine Glory.
We, as Christians, are called to commit ourselves to the way of the Cross; to allow the sufferings of Christ to overflow in our lives. “As the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so our consolation is abundant through Christ” (2Corinthians 1:5). If we do not allow the sufferings of Christ to become abundant in our hearts, the joy of His resurrection will not overflow in our lives and we will not find the hope that life holds. By participating in His pain, we are able to face our own tribulations in acceptance and hope; to struggle through them and to grow into a new being which is more capable of enduring suffering and expressing love. Crucified with Him, we are no longer estranged from God, from ourselves and our fellow men and women.
Each time the Cross is raised in the center of the Christian community of the faithful, we are called to take up our Cross and commit ourselves to a life of martyrdom. Thus our self-centered occupation with pain will cease and our estrangement from God and our fellow human beings will be healed. God’s philanthropy will dwell in our hearts and a hope for a new and more compassionate humanity will be born.