The celebration

The cross is the cry of victory of Christ

Article by Don Francesco Armenti

Mark’s intention in all of his Gospels, is to reveal the identity of Jesus. In fact, in his writings we stumble upon a recurring, question which is: “So, who is this?”  We run the risk of living through this very holy day  of the Palm Sunday simply remembering,  simply listening to the story of the passion of Jesus,  and perhaps even being moved by it.   However, for us Christians, it is not sufficient, just listening to the latest events of the life of Christ.  It is imperative that we relive Christ’s passion, pain, suffering and hope in our hearts and in our very being  through the Holy Spirit and in the celebration of the Eucharist.  To do this we must dig deep within ourselves and ask: ” So, who is this?”. Let us all reflect on the following questions  so that we can relive the passion of the Lord transforming our lives and  allowing us to witness the Gospel of a Crucified Love, which is Christ Jesus.  Let us ask ourselves, with truth and humility:

– ” So, who is this?” who is triumphantly welcomed by the crowd in Jerusalem but responds with silence and humility?

– ” So, who is this?”, who in the face of insults, spit, betrayal, fear, and suffering, does not flee  but continues his journey towards his ordeal renewing his obedience to his father,  and embracing his faith in God whom he knows will assist him?

– ” So, who is this?” who gave up his life and died for us all but still today continues to die only for love?

– ” So, who is this?” of whom we celebrate the passion today?

The most beautiful and true answer to this question comes from a pagan,  from a non -believer,  from a centurion of the Roman army, who having seen Jesus die on the cross exclaims:  “Truly this man was the son of God”. Definitely,  this is the True profession of faith.  Every disciple of Jesus contemplating that crucified man  who does not save himself in order to save us,  must, as the centurion did,  say and live the words: “Truly this man was the son of God”. The English actor, Frank Topping in his meditation on the passion of Jesus, entitled “An Impossible God”, imagines that the centurion said these words:

«There has never been a death like this /  and I have lost count … /  His battle was not with death. / Death was his servant, not his master. /  He was not a defeated man … /  On the cross, his battle was something much more serious than the tongues of the Pharisees. /  No, his was another battle … /  in the end he let out a high cry of victory. / Everyone wondered what it was, /  but I know something about fighting and fighters. /  I recognize a cry of victory  among thousands ».

Yes, for all of us, the cross is the only face of the Father and it is the only way to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.  It is the cross of Jesus that converts our lives, and transforms our hearts by filling them with hope, peace, strength and courage to live the Gospel of mercy, forgiveness and love.

In the pic above: Don Francesco Armenti, author of this article

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