Thought of the day
Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time

“The Son of Man must suffer…"

Being human means to go towards death; being human means to have to die… Living in this world means dying. “He became man.” (Creed) So that means that Christ also went towards death. The contradiction that is part and parcel of human death reached its extreme acuteness in Jesus, because for him who is in total communion with the Father, the absolute isolation of death is utter absurdity. On the other hand, for him death also is a necessity; for the fact that he was with the Father was at the source of the lack of understanding, with which human beings saw him; it was at the source of  his solitude in the midst of the crowds. His condemnation was the ultimate act of non-understanding, of the rejection of the person who was not understood into a zone of silence.

At the same time, we can see something of the interior dimension of his death. For the human person, dying is always at one and the same time a biological event and a spiritual one. In Jesus, the destruction of the bodily means of communication ruptured his dialogue with the Father. So what was broken in the death of Jesus Christ was more important than in any other human death; there, what was torn away was the dialogue that is the entire world’s true axis.

But just as this dialogue made him lonely and was the basis for his death’s monstrosity, so the resurrection is already fundamentally present in Christ. Through it, our human condition is brought into the Trinitarian exchange of eternal love. It can never disappear again; beyond the threshold of death, it rises again and creates its fullness anew. Thus, only the resurrection reveals the ultimate, decisive nature of that article of our faith: “He became man”… Christ is fully human; he remains so forever. Through him, the human condition has entered into God’s very being. That is the fruit of his death.

Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013