Posted by: fvbcdm | March 31, 2015

Tuesday of Holy Week (31 March 2015)

Shortly before Our Lord’s suffering and death, he took Saints Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain in Galilee and there was transfigured before them so that his appearance became dazzlingly beautiful, majestic, glorious.  Moses and Elijah appeared, speaking to him. And the voice of God the Father was heard saying very clearly, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

Now, on Good Friday, that same Saint John who saw Jesus in such beauty and attractiveness, stands at the foot of the cross with Our Lady and the other friends of Jesus, and gazes at the horribly disfigured man on the cross. He probably wondered if this pitiable person, covered with his own blood and dust and grime, struggling to breathe, writhing in pain, could be the same as the resplendent, commanding figure on the mount of the transfiguration.

It was, of course. The night before his crucifixion, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified.” Is this what he calls glorification—this torture, agony, ugliness, a dreadful death? Yes. Because by means of this, he saves the entire human race from permanent alienation from God.  Physical appearance has nothing to do with it. And besides that, in just about 40 hours from his last gasp on the cross, he would arise in tremendous beauty and newness of life, never again to suffer or die. And so, we place crucifixes in our churches, our homes, our schools, our hospitals, our religious communities. Isn’t that morbid?  Not at all. We have great veneration for the crucifix not primarily because it depicts an ordinary man dying, but because it depicts the God-man redeeming and saving. Redeeming and saving us. Opening for us the gates of eternal happiness. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you; because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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