BishopBarron|一个宗教符号？2017-08-12 16:15:15 阅读量:938
Friends, in our Gospel for today Jesus outlines the cost of becoming his disciple: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." We have a very antiseptic view of the cross, for we have seen it for so long as a religious symbol.
But for the first nine centuries or so of the Christian dispensation, artists didn't depict the cross, for it was just too brutal. Say what you want about the violence in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, it probably came as close as any work of art to showing the reality of a Roman crucifixion.
But here's the point: we are meant to see on that cross, not simply a violent display, but rather our own ugliness. What brought Jesus to the cross? Stupidity, anger, mistrust, institutional injustice, betrayal of a friend, denial, unspeakable cruelty, scapegoating, and fear. In other words, all of our dysfunction is revealed on that cross. In the light of the cross, no one can say the popular philosophy of our times, "I'm okay and you're okay." This is why we speak of the cross as God's judgment on the world.
Friends, Our Gospel for today contains one of the most beautiful and terrible summations of the Christian message: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."
And now this one upon whom the crowds had pinned their hopes is speaking of falling to the earth and dying. And then it gets stranger. "The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world, preserves it to life eternal." Come again?!
Just when we are raising you up, you're talking about falling down; just when we are showing you that your life has come to its fulfillment, you're talking about hating this life.
To understand what all this means, we should go back to the grain of wheat that falls to the earth. A seed's life is inside, yes, but it's a life that grows by being given away and mixing with the soil around it. It has to crack open, be destroyed.
Jesus' sign is the sign of the cross. The death that leads to transfiguration.