Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Suffering leads to new life...

Few of us are brave enough to confront pain or impending disaster.  We run from reality or take refuge in distractions.  We do not make the connection between suffering and new life.  The disciples, like us, did not understand why the towering figure of the Son of Man, as foretold in the Book of Daniel, should be killed, and still less how he could rise again.  Even after the resurrection, many found it difficult to grasp the meaning and purpose of the death of Christ.

Tabor and Calvary are linked in the Gospel and are linked also in life.  We long for the experience of transfiguration, to stand on Mount Tabor with Peter, James, and John and to see God revealed in Jesus Christ.  We want to be like Moses and catch a glimpse of his glory.  We want, like Elijah, to hear God in the sound of stillness.  But the magnificence of the Son of God transfigured on Tabor is to be found veiled in Gethsemane and on Calvary.  The glory of God, not now seen directly by human eyes, is just as real and present when Christ experiences agony in the garden.  In this agony of the Son of Man all humankind was involved.  The Passion of Jesus Christ is for all time and all people... 

Tabor and Calvary, in their different ways, reveal the true face of Christ who is the Son of Man and the Man of Sorrows.  But there was to be, as we all know, a further revelation when the crucified became the risen Lord.  It was then that suffering humanity was shown the ultimate destiny and meaning.  Death and suffering were swallowed up in glory.

Life everlasting and love without end became the themes of the Good News which is the only hope for humankind.  We who still live in the valley of death and darkness should lift up our eyes to where the day has already dawned, and where Christ, the Son of Man, is seated at the right hand of the Father in eternal glory.

From The Mystery of the Cross
by Cardinal Basil Hume

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