Monday, March 28, 2005

The paschal mystery and the Gospel of life

From Pope John Paul's encyclical the Gospel of Life:

"Today we too find ourselves in the midst of a dramatic conflict between the 'culture of death' and the 'culture of life.' But the glory of the Cross is not overcome by this darkness; rather, it shines forth ever more radiantly and brightly, and is revealed as the center, meaning and goal of all history and of every human life. Jesus is nailed to the Cross and is lifted up from the earth. He experiences the moment of his greatest 'powerlessness,' and his life seems completely delivered to the derision of his adversaries and into the hands of his executioner.... And yet, precisely amid all this, the Roman centurion exclaims: 'Truly this man was the Son of God!' It is thus, at the moment of his greatest weakness, that the Son of God is revealed for who he is: on the Cross his glory is made manifest." (n. 50).

This is replayed every day, in the life of each and every suffering person. In a dramatic way we see it being played out in the case of Terry Schiavo. She has been delivered into the hands of her state-sanctioned executioners. But the glory of the Cross will shine through it all.

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