Thought of the day
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent

"A division occurred in the crowd because of him"

Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » § 8 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

"A division occurred in the crowd because of him"

In the paschal mystery the limits of the many sided evil in which man becomes a sharer during his earthly existence are surpassed: the cross of Christ, in fact, makes us understand the deepest roots of evil, which are fixed in sin and death; thus the cross becomes an eschatological sign. Only in the eschatological fulfillment and definitive renewal of the world will love conquer, in all the elect, the deepest sources of evil…

In the eschatological fulfillment mercy will be revealed as love, while in the temporal phase, in human history, which is at the same time the history of sin and death, love must be revealed above all as mercy and must also be actualized as mercy. Christ's messianic program, the program of mercy, becomes the program of His people, the program of the Church. At its very center there is always the cross, for it is in the cross that the revelation of merciful love attains its culmination…

Christ, precisely as the crucified one, is the Word that does not pass away (Mt 24,35), and He is the one who stands at the door and knocks at the heart of every man (Rv 3,20), without restricting his freedom, but instead seeking to draw from this very freedom love, which is not only an act of solidarity with the suffering Son of man, but also a kind of "mercy" shown by each one of us to the Son of the eternal Father. In the whole of this messianic program of Christ, in the whole revelation of mercy through the cross, could man's dignity be more highly respected and ennobled, for, in obtaining mercy, He is in a sense the one who at the same time "shows mercy"?

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