•I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my
face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6)
•They have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones. (Psalm 22:17,18)
•Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and
found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even
death on a cross. (Philippians 2:7)
•Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commend my
spirit and when he had said this he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
•Why does Jesus suffer and die on the cross to redeem humanity?
He triumphs over death by accepting enslavement by it so that humanity can be set free. This is the whole meaning of death and resurrection of Christ, who descends into the most inaccessible depths of suffering and so destroys evil at its roots. There is but one solution to the mystery of evil: the triumphant Cross of Christ. Every explanation becomes unbearable in the face of suffering; every human effort becomes ridiculous in the face of evil. We are unable to bring consolation or explanations to someone in the midst of suffering; all we can do is try to relieve some of his or her suffering. Jesus Christ alone brings victory over suffering of bodies and souls.
We believe that Christ resolves the whole human drama because he alone reaches its ultimate depths. We must avoid leaving Christianity on the surface; it is neither a system of morality, nor a social order, nor a system of metaphysics. Rather it is the fact that what is inaccessible to humankind, what reveals the very mystery of his existence as neither morality nor sociology could do, has been achieved by the Word of God.11
Danielou, Cardinal Jean, Prayer: The Mission of the Church
, W. B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996, p. 89.
For the Ride Home is available for publication in your parish bulletin. Please contact Ted Bergh
for details, or to communicate any
questions or feedback. Ted Bergh is a free-lance writer serves on the advisory board of St. Anthony Messenger Press.