Our need for the
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
April 7, 2023
ITíS Good Friday! The
mood, the atmosphere takes on a very dark hue. And despite the many
secularizing and paganizing elements around these days, somehow we
assume a most serious face as we commemorate, bring to mind, and
liturgically make present, the very passion and death by crucifixion
of the Son of God, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Yes, the readings are
long, (cfr. Jn 18,1-19,42) but thanks to God, we have learned how to
bear the experience and to make alive and be part of the very events
narrated in those readings. We try to draw meaningful and
spiritually vivifying insights from the prayers offered on this day.
The main lesson we can
derive from this celebration of the death of Christ is that we have
a great and essential need for the cross of Christ. We need to know
the purpose of the cross because the cross, through Christís
passion, death and resurrection, is where everything in our life is
resolved. Christís passion, death and resurrection is the
culmination of Christís redemptive mission on earth.
Yes, Christ preached. He
performed miracles. But in the end, he had to offer his life on the
cross because no matter what he did, our sins are such that they
simply cannot be undone and forgiven through the preaching of the
truths of our faith and the tremendous effects of the miracles.
Christ has to offer his life on the cross!
In other words, the cross
and all the suffering it involves are the consequences of our sins
which need to be forgiven and undone. And that can only happen when
with Christ, we go through the consequences of our sin by suffering
them with Christ on the cross. Thus, the cross of our sins has been
converted by Christ into the cross of our salvation. Thatís how we
have to understand the cross and all the suffering it involves.
We should not be afraid of
the cross. In fact, we should be looking forward to have it if only
to help in Christís continuing work of our redemption. We need to
understand that unless we love the cross, we can never say that we
are loving enough. Of course, we have to qualify that assertion.
Itís when we love the cross the way God wills it Ė the way Christ
loves it Ė that we can really say that we are loving as we should,
or loving with the fullness of love.
We have to be wary of our
tendency to limit our loving to ways and forms that give us some
benefits alone, be it material, moral or spiritual. While they are
also a form of love, they are not yet the fullness of love.
We have to realize more
deeply that the cross heals what is sick and wounded in us,
resurrects what is dead, forgives what is sinful. There is no evil
in man and in the world that cannot be handled properly by Christís
cross. Thatís why we should not feel at all hopeless when we find
ourselves in a deep mess, often created by our own selves, our own
The cross symbolizes all
evil and sin, and with Christ embracing it and dying on it, the
cross gets transformed from being a tree of death to a tree of life.
It effects our redemption. We should not be afraid of the cross. In
fact, we should learn to love it.