The Way of the Cross at the Colosseum: Cardinal Ruini's meditations (full text)
April 02, 2010
When the Apostle Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father,” he replied, “Have I been with you all this time, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:8-9). This evening, as we accompany Jesus in our hearts while he makes his way beneath the cross, let us not forget those words. Even as he carries the cross, even in his death on the cross, Jesus remains the Son, who is one with God the Father. When we look upon his face disfigured by beating, weariness and inner suffering, we see the face of the Father. Indeed, it is precisely in this moment that God’s glory, his surpassing splendour, in some way becomes visible on the face of Jesus. In this poor, suffering man whom Pilate, in the hope of eliciting compassion, showed to the Jews with the words “Behold the man!” (Jn 19:5), we see revealed the true greatness of God, that mysterious grandeur beyond all our imagining.
Yet in the crucified Jesus we see revealed another kind of grandeur: our own greatness, the grandeur which belongs to every man and woman by the simple fact that we have a human face and heart. In the words of Saint Anthony of Padua, “Christ, who is your life, hangs before you, so that you can gaze upon the cross as if in a mirror… If you look upon him, you will be able to see the greatness of your dignity and worth… Nowhere else can we better recognize our own value, than by looking into the mirror of the cross” (Sermones dominicales et festivi, III, pp. 213-214). Jesus, the Son of God, died for you, for me, for each of us. In this way he gave us concrete proof of how great and precious we are in the eyes of God, the only eyes capable of seeing beyond all appearances and of peering into the depths of our being.
As we make the Way of the Cross, let us ask God to grant us this gaze of truth and love, so that, in union with him, we may become free and good. (Click on links for the remainder of the meditations.)
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