The Paradox of the Cross, April 30, 2015 Daily Reflection

Shrine in Boston

Shrine in Boston

I have been teaching my students about peace in the world. How violence is never the answer. Catholic Social Teaching espouses that the spiral of violence begins with a conflict. However, before it spirals out of control one can choose to react rationally and peacefully to the conflict presented. 

Jesus Christ was the model of non-violence. They tortured Jesus, beat him, scourged him, spit in his face, drove nails into his body, and hung him on a cross. Yet, he never struck back, he never threatened the soldiers, or fought them. The crucifixion of that time was like the capital punishment of our time. It was the ultimate violence in the world. Not just torturing people but killing them. Jesus Christ used this violence to flip it upside down by resisting the violence and turning its symbol into a symbol of peace and forgiveness. This symbol of death, changed through the death of Jesus Christ, into the resurrection and everlasting life

I told my students back in the day of Jesus wearing a cross necklace would be equivalent to wearing an electric chair as a charm on a necklace today. That is the paradox of the cross. How clever Jesus was to take such a violent act and to make it filled with peace and love. Only God could do something so powerful. 

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