Christ’s Passion continues today …

Christ’s Passion continues today in the many people who are suffering: the unemployed, those who fear the events which are happening around them, the anxious and the afflicted in prisons, the victims of absurd and ruthless violence. The Passion con­tinues for the elderly who have drained their energies through the years by society, who now have been cast aside and are all alone – and how many suffer this loneliness. The Passion con­tinues in those who are awaiting justice which is not forthcom­ing, how many people, for whatever reason, have had to leave their homeland, but who do not find welcome in their new lands, many of whom are probably in our communities right now and have no sense of “home”.

 The mystery of the cross renews itself in all those who feel themselves on the fringes of our society, such as the hand­icapped, or those who are shown ways of escape which are, in reality, solutions leading to death, such as addiction to drugs or a life of crime. Those engaged in such activities over which they no longer seem to have any control and who should in be places of rehabilitation or reconciliation are oftentimes forced to remain in a climate of violence and death because of their past. Finally, the Passion and its suffering continues on in those who are despairing because they see their daily sacrifices and fidelity to their responsibilities as being unappreciated and generally futile.

Reading the newspapers, it sometimes seems impossible to us that man, so small can create so much evil in the world. And when we read the Passion, we see that the sentiment behind the accounts are not much different.

The Lord’s Passion teaches us not only to recognise those who suffer in order that we might help them, but also to speak out of the matrix of violence which seems to perpetuate itself in man’s heart and human history.

An act of forgiveness, and prayer, similar to the dying Christ’s, which others in our day and age seek to render alive and effec­tive, is the good news that helps us believe that the mystery of Good Friday still looks forward, and always will, to the dawning of an Easter morning. Christ does not want to have any other hands than our own today in order to care for our brothers and sisters who are in need.

[Cardinal Martini]

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