Dear friends, the Lord’s proclamation is unequivocal. It explicitly tells us that it is not enough to believe in Him in order to claim to be authentically Christian, but rather that all of us are called upon to see, embrace and enter into a new logic: the logic of the Cross.

It is a logic that is based on the freedom of God, who gives His Only Son to humanity in the only way that makes it possible to free us from the grip of the evil one. As Pope Francis so often reminds us, the evil one is no mere allegory of evil but rather a real personal presence who acts in the world, causing grave harm to every individual and to society generally. 11

To a humanity enslaved by sin, crushed by the bite of a Satan thirsting for human blood, God sent His Son, who freely offered Himself in the place of men, who spilt His precious blood in exchange for that of men. In this admirable exchange, in this vicarious replacement, we find the heart of the history of salvation, capable of truly freeing man and definitively destroying the evil one.

The historical fact of the bloody sacrifice that Christ made of Himself on the altar of the Cross demands our acceptance, not only in the doctrinal and ecclesial domain, but also in the sphere of our own moral and human existence.

In the doctrinal and ecclesial domain it is more urgent than ever to keep before our eyes the Mysterium Crucis12 whenever we attempt to understand, present and re-present the essence of our faith. Christianity is Joy, Peace and Love – only because Christ was lifted from the earth, only because the Blood of Eternal Life and the Water of Salvation gushed out from His pierced side.

  • There is no Love that does not gush forth from Christ’s pierced side!
  • There is no Joy that does not gush forth from Christ’s pierced side!
  • There is no Peace that is not conquered for man by the Cross of Christ.

‘Christus Pax nostra!’13   proclaims the Apostle, who well understood the centrality of the Cross.

 

Adapted and Edited from Cardinal Piacenza’s homily given on Wednesday 14 September 2017 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima during ACN’s international pilgrimage to mark the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Aid to the Church in Need
11 cf. CCC 395
12 ‘The Mystery of the Cross’
13 ‘Christ is our Peace’ Eph 2:14

This article can be found in Mirror 0717.