Friday, February 27, 2009

Why Are Catholics Focused On The Crucified Lord?

I was asked one day 'why do Catholics have such a fixation on the gruesome scene of a Cross'?

I've never thought about the Cross as gruesome. Rather, it's about the love of God, and in return, I love Jesus for what He did - dying for our sins.

The passion of our Lord is recreated every year, beginning on Holy Thursday. That evening, Jesus entered Jerusalem and ate the Paschal supper with His apostles. It is called the Last Supper because it was the last meal He ate before His death. After the supper, Jesus then washed the feet of the apostles to teach them humility. After the washing, Jesus instituted the Blessed Eucharist and said the first Mass and gave His Apostles their first Holy Communion.

Of course next came the kiss from Judas and Jesus was led away, to be scourged at the pillar. They then placed a crown of thorns on His head. He stayed silent, suffering for us. How can anyone not appreciate this fact and love the Lord because of it?

The redemption for our sins means that Jesus Christ, as Redeemer of the whole human race, offered His sufferings and death to God as a fitting sacrifice in satisfaction for the sins of men, and regained for them the right to be children of God and heirs to heaven. No other creature could do this.

Sin offends our infinite God. Many people today believe that they are saved, despite their sins. They believe that Christ's death on the cross is all that is needed for them to go to heaven.

But Scripture tells us a different story. That story is, that sin offends God and needs satisfaction. What Christ did was opened up the gates to heaven that had been closed after the fall of Adam and Eve. Christ did die for all men, without exception. But that does not mean that all men are saved because not all accept the graces which Christ merited for us by His death. Many also do not believe in Him. Of those who believe, many lead sinful lives.

Many of us who saw the movie, The Passion of Christ, were shocked at how bad Christ looked when He was beaten and nailed to the Cross. It brought tears to many people, to see how Christ suffered. And that portrayal was probably nothing compared to how it really was and people need to see this. It should bring us all to our knees in complete and humble thanksgiving for what Christ did for us that day.

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