From the wood of the Manger to the wood of the Cross, we are poor in His poverty. The silence of Calvary is deafening now. The splinters of the Cross highlight the woundedness of our collective humanity as we commemorate the Passion of Jesus Christ. His death on the Cross means we suffer and die as a people continuously impoverished by our own weaknesses and ignorance.
It is from Calvary that we become seekers of the isolated, friends to the abandoned; teachers to the ignorant, gifts to the poor and seers for the confused for “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that we might believe in Him.”
As Disciples we are not spectators. We are active participants whose mission is to become the wood that bears His flesh and the tree that holds His divinity as if it were a manger.
“Ecce Homo,” behold the incarnate God, Who reveals on Golgotha the profound mystery of His love for the poor and the stranger. My friends, God loves human beings. He loves every one of us, not in our ill-conceived perfection, though perfect we are called to be. He loves us for who we are-disciples, followers, students of His path. God becomes a human being and He wants us too, to be human beings, free from the bondage of sin, free to choose the life He mapped out for us.
“Ecce Homo,” behold the way of the Cross, the way of true suffering and sacrifice which He now calls us to embrace in becoming His disciples. If we come here to venerate an image of Christ in stone, our lips will only feel the cold of our illusions. But if we come to embrace the Christ, we will feel the sting of a people rejected and expelled, as the People He loves.
Our discipleship means a communion with the very person of Jesus Who saw the Good Thief and reached out to Him even in His own agony to reassure him, ‘I am with you, I am nailed to this Cross and to your cross so we may unite our suffering and make it a sacrament of Grace for others.’
Our acceptance of Christ crucified in our lives, in our work, and in our homes places us under the Cross as lovers and as martyrs for the Christian Way. But, you cannot find this path alone. We must cry out, ‘Lord, Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’ Jesus takes our hand and leads us to the place we need to be.
So in the end it is not only you or me, nor any human being, nor any creature, but rather only Christ. He alone instructs us through the Church’s Teaching and Her Sacramental Life about the path we must walk.
‘Not the walk you choose, not the suffering you think up for yourself but what comes to you quite contrary to your choosing, thinking, and desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling, there you must be a pupil, there, in the deafness of Calvary, your teacher has come.’ (Bonheoffer)