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Christ Crucified

“We do not know the mind of God, but we do know His heart. We know it most of all in the suffering of the Crucified Christ for us. God is wholly unknowable in His essence, but His heart is revealed in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Whatever may come, we have faith in Christ, who has shown us that “God is love” (1 John 4:7). That is our hope, our comfort, and our peace in the struggles of this age.” (Fr. Basil)

“I was nurtured on stories as a child that contrasted Christ’s “non-judging” (“Jesus, meek and mild”) with Christ the coming Judge (at His dread Second Coming). I was told that His second coming would be very unlike His first. There was a sense that Jesus, meek and mild, was something of a pretender, revealing His true and eternal character only later as the avenging Judge. This, of course, is both distortion and heresy. The judgment of God is revealed in Holy Week. The crucified Christ is the fullness of the revelation of God. There is no further revelation to be made known, no unveiling of a wrath to come. The crucified Christ is what the wrath of God looks like.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“It happens when our eyes are open, at a moment of purity of heart; because it is not only God Himself Whom the pure in heart will see; it is also the divine image, the light shining in the darkness of a human soul, of the human life that we can see at moments when our heart becomes still, becomes transparent, becomes pure. But there are also other moments when we can see a person whom we thought we have always known, in a light that is a revelation. It happens when someone is aglow with joy, with love, with a sense of worship and adoration. It happens also when a person is at the deepest point, the crucifying point of suffering, but when the suffering remains pure, when no hatred, no resentment, no bitterness, no evil is mixed to it, when pure suffering shines out, as it shone invisibly to many from the crucified Christ.” (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)

“The Church extols the example of the penitent thief, emphasizing the fact that we are all crucified thieves, hanging either to the right or to the left of the Crucified Christ. Of course, this fact alone cannot save us. Whether we enter Paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven or not does not depend on whether our behavior is good or bad in ethical terms but hinges, as we have already noted, on how repentant or unrepentant we are. Our return from a life of exile in this barren world to a paradisiacal existence in the future Kingdom is Christ’s reward to us for showing a humble faith, a faith which chooses the way of repentance through a sense of the wrongs we have committed and also complete faith in God.” (Fr. Michael Kardamakis)

“God calls us to the life of the resurrection, not of death, but our fatal condition is reflected in his death. He made us for ‘the abundance of life’, as Saint John the Evangelist says [10, 10], but we restrict ourselves to paucity, to barely surviving. The fall of humankind and our departure from God has made us sick in soul and spirit, which is why we find ourselves in this position. In the times in which we live, terrible events are happening: pandemics, wars, suicides, homicides, isolation, fears, stress, depression and so on. In this dark reality, there seems to be no light. Perhaps we might try to see more clearly into the center of this image and we’ll see that that is precisely where Christ crucified is to be found. That day sums up the whole of human history. Let’s choose to write our own, different history and not leave Christ alone on the cross. Rather, let’s find the courage of Nicodemus, the secret but true disciple.” (Sister Parakliti)


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