Monday, September 07, 2015
No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The cross on which Christ hung is ugly and brutal. I have never liked pictures of it and turn my eyes away whenever it appears on a TV or movie screen.
It is too much, too real, too awful, and yet it is your glory and ours, Holy One, the central symbol of who you are and what you are doing in us. And it is our ultimate hope.
Your divine heart is there for all to see, and I see there is no hatred in your heart. There is no desire for punishment or retribution to even out the scales of justice.
You don’t ask to be paid back for anything, not even for the messes we make of creation and the world through our hatreds, sins and wars.
It is your nature only to give, to pour out the goodness and love you are so that we may receive your grace … and live with free and open hearts.
You do not seek not to condemn or punish. You do not pay back evil for evil, pain for pain or hatred with more hatred.
The cross on which you are lifted marks your refusal to do what we do.
You pay back hatred with compassion. You pay back evil with forgiveness. You pay back rejection with welcome. You pay back condemnation with understanding and peace.
“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”
Who says that to their killers? Only you … and those rarest of souls in whom the Loving Mystery fully dwells.
The cross is our glory. It shines with the extraordinary compassion in which you hold us and all this troubled world. You do not seek your glory but our freedom.
“Come,” you say. “Come bask in the exquisite love that shines from the cross and become your true self, filled with the peace and compassion that only my cross reveals.”
Pr. David L. Miller