Posted by: livingscripture | October 8, 2010

Twenty Seventh Friday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Christ ransomed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree.”

                                                  Galatians 3: 13             

How should we live this Word

The cross is not only a horrible punishment.  In the eyes of the Jews it is also the tangible sign of God’s curse (Cf. Deut. 21: 23).  It is a definitive judgment of condemnation that is co-validated by the sinner’s choice of total separation from Him, and therefore of self-destruction.  By subjecting Himself to this, Jesus made Himself our substitute by assuming the horror of our sin.  This produced a profound laceration in Him who was irresistibly attracted by the Father, with whom He lived in perfect unity.  At the same time, He was violently torn away from the Father because of His solidarity with sinners.

In this intense suffering, He experienced a tremendous sense of God’s abandonment, as the evangelists report and as Paul implies with the term ‘curse’.  It was not an external wound or an illness that could oppress heavily but that was outside of Him.  He was torn in His essence as God and man, as One in the heart of the Trinity, of a moral not ontological unity and therefore, inseparable from the Father and the Holy Spirit.  At the same time, He was truly human, participating in a nature drawn to sin yet always remaining God’s image in His essence, in His DNA. 

On the Cross, it was his deepest essence that agonized more than His body.  It was an abyss of suffering and bitterness that we cannot possibly imagine.  His physical death was but a pallid and distant manifestation.                                                   

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will remain before the Crucified, reading in His wounds the devastation sin produced in me and from which He removed me by taking my death upon Himself.

 Oh God, Your wounds cry out the preciousness of my being for You.  Keep me from treading on my greatness ever again. 

The voice of St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church

The penetrating nail was like a key that opened me to see the Lord’s will.  It opened the entrance to the heart’s secret through the wounds of the body.  Our God’s deep mercy appeared, for which ‘the sun from on high visited us (Luke 1: 78). 


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