When you click on the words you get an atrocious picture of the Virgen, which is enough to make an atheist of anyone, and text which keeps repeating, “I knew this had to be” as a reason for doing nothing.
Clear case of predestination surely? If all this was inevitable, written from all eternity, and not subject to free will, then what is?
The crucifixion was an event that Jesus chose to allow – that’s part of the whole point of it, surely, that he could have stopped it at any time.
But it was the event that was required for us to return to the dignity for which humankind was intended. The crucifixion could have been jetisoned – but at the cost of either wiping the earth clean of us or leaving us to go from bad to worse.
Is changing a baby’s nappy something of which I would say: “it must be done” – even though it smells like a toxic waste dump and has cleared the room and the houses on both sides? Yes. It must be done. Not because it is predestined, but because the consequences of not doing it are unacceptable.
Yes, a very nice reflection. I like the challenge to turn the reflection inward, towards myself. A couple of years ago, Caritas Aoteroa NZ offered us a set of Lenten Stations of the Cross that challenged us to turn the reflection outward into the current world. They did it very well, I thought. As those from NZ may remember (and no doubt the resource was used elsewhere, as well), each station was illustrated by a picture from somewhere in a Caritas-supported area, and the meditation looked at what was happening to Jesus at that point, and then at the parallels with the people in the picture. For example:
III Jesus falls the first time
Tradition speaks of Jesus falling three times on his painful journey. Exhausted and overcome by the oppressive burden, he fell to the ground. St. Paul has spoken of the cross as being a stumbling block, as madness. But to those who are called, this broken Jesus is the Christ, the power and the wisdom of God. For “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength”(I Cor. 1).
We all are burdened in mind and body. Illness and weariness, the pace of our days, the pressures of our responsibilities, are the cross we have to carry. Jesus speaks to us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden light”(Mt. 11)?
Who is overwhelmed by a burden too heavy to bear? Many women and girls, like this young Maasai girl in Tanzania, are so burdened by workloads that they are unable to acquire even basic literacy skills.
God of creation, you made both women and men in your image. Bless the efforts of many who work for education and gender equality.
“But it (The Crucufixion) was the event that was required for us to return to the dignity for which humankind was intended.”
Assuming (and it’s a big assume) that mankind ever had any dignity before – where is the slightest indication that mankind returned to any dignity after the event?
That is, as usual, if God “intended”(!) us to have dignity, (whatever that means,) why didn’t he just give us it to start with? Original sin, I suppose. Which is really original insanity. Or so I think, along with Koestler.
I was trying – clearly without success – to compress into two words the concept that the Catechism takes a whole chapter to discuss. Here’s their summary:
“The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.” (Part 3, section 1, chapter 1, clause 1700)
I agree with toad, the passion of Christ means that God foresook the gulf between the divine and the human, and plunged into the depths of human suffering, thereby annihilating the distance between man and God. It is not about raising mans dignity
With the proviso that I said ‘restoring’ not ‘raising’, it’s about both. And our dignity is as sons and daughters of God, so my point (and the Catechism’s) is very much in the ‘he who would win his life must lose it’ strain of thinking.