The Feast of the Cross: Transfiguring Death Itself

Meditation on the Feast of the Cross  2008

One of the mysteries of God is that God Himself sees something so valuable in this world, perhaps a goodness that must not be lost, that He finds allowing suffering and even death to be worthwhile and worthy.   So much so that to save the world, He doesn’t just “will” or wish salvation by His Word alone, but by His Word becoming flesh and then suffering the pain of death.   He doesn’t accomplish salvation in heaven, but on earth.  He doesn’t achieve salvation by an imaginary or mythical battle between good and evil, but does it on the Cross.  He sees in the death of His Son some good, that often escapes our eyes or our wisdom.   We do all we can to avoid even thinking about death, let alone going through it.  God however does not avoid thinking about death, nor does He avoid the very consequences for sin which He imposed on humanity in Genesis 3.   He knew when He imposed death as a consequence for sin, that His son would have to die to save the world.  God redeems the world, including the process of death and makes it the passage way to eternal life.  He destroys the pain of death, but also turns it into a blessing for He doesn’t prevent any of us from having to die, but transforms death into the means of our salvation.  And in the Church we willingly and joyfully enter into this death in our own baptisms where we die with Christ and are raised with Him, and in Holy Communion where we proclaim His death and resurrection until He comes again.  In embracing Christ, we embrace His death in order to transfigure and to overcome our own deaths.  God sent His Son into the world in order to die and to transfigure death.  God sees in death something worth saving, redeeming, transfiguring and transforming.  He destroys the evil that death represents, but doesn’t prevent us from dying.    He changes something we fear and dread into the means of our salvation and the the path to the Kingdom of Heaven.  He sees some good in what we so fear, and he triumphs over our fear and over death itself.

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