By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 21, 2017
WE really have to know why the cross is essential and indispensable in our life. And by knowing the purpose of the cross, we mean that we need to refer everything in our life to the passion, death and resurrection of Christ where the cross plays a crucial role.
Yes, that’s right. We need to refer everything to the cross because that is how everything in our life, whether good or bad, big or small, spiritual or material, would find its true and ultimate meaning and purpose.
We need to know the purpose of the cross because in the first place Christ himself said that to follow him, we need not only to deny ourselves but also to carry the cross daily. (cfr Lk 9,23)
Christ, who as the Son of God and the perfect image that God has of himself, is the pattern of our humanity since God created us in his image and likeness. As the Son of God who became man, he is the redeemer and restorer of our damaged humanity. That’s why he described himself as the way, the truth and the life for us. (cfr Jn 14,6)
We need to know the purpose of the cross because the cross, through Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, is where everything in our life is resolved. Christ’s passion, death and resurrection is the culmination of Christ’s 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!
We might ask, if Christ is God, why did he have to go through all that suffering and death? Why not just say, “Everything is now all right, guys.” As God, nothing is impossible with him. With the movement of his will, with a flick of his hand, everything would be as it should be.
I must say, it is a good question to ask. Indeed, nothing is impossible with God. He does not have to do anything spectacular to repair what was damaged. A word from him, and everything would be as he wants it to be.
Be that as it may, the fact is that Christ chose the way the Father wanted it. “Not my will, but yours be done,” Christ said. (Lk 22,42) And I imagine the reason behind this is because God respects our human nature as it is, as it has been created by him, capable of loving and hating, and also capable of being faithful and unfaithful and faithful again after some conversion.
The return to fidelity, given our nature, will unavoidably involve suffering and death which Christ took to himself shows us the way of how to go about these consequences of our sins.
That is why, it’s always recommendable to meditate often on the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, so we would learn to have some healthy abhorrence against sin and temptations, as well as to develop the capacity to suffer calmly with Christ to make up for our unavoidable sins.
This is the purpose of the cross in our life. It is to instill in us the proper attitude and virtues with respect to our sin, before it is committed and also after it is committed.