Thought for the Day – 4 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“I determined not to know anything among you,” wrote St Paul to the Corinthians, “except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2).
It was St Paul’s boast, that while the Jews were looking for signs and the Greeks were searching for wisdom, he continued to preach about Christ on the Cross.
“The Jews ask for signs and the Greeks look for ‘wisdom’ but we, for our part, preach a crucified Christ – to the Jews indeed, a stumbling-block and to the Gentiles, foolishness” (1 Cor 1:22-23).
Christian doctrine and Christian living, are centred around Jesus Crucified.
Unfortunately, in modern times, as in the times of St Paul, the Crucifix is either ignored and forgotten, or attacked as a symbol of folly.
There is no need to be amazed at this.
When the holy old man, Simeon, took Jesus in his arms, he made the prophecy that this Child, would be “a sign that shall be contradicted” (Lk 2:34).
The world is proud of it’s scientific and technical progress, whereas the Crucifix, is the symbol of the lowliness to which God Himself descended for love of us.
The world is looking for pleasure and voluptuousness, whereas, the Crucifix preaches to us the spirit of sacrifice and the purifying value of suffering.
The world is fond of ease, riches and honour; the Crucifix demonstrates the depths of the love of God, Who became man for our sakes, suffered and died to redeem us from sin, taught us fraternal love and commanded us to carry our cross daily, if we wished to follow Him.
We must choose whether to follow Jesus Crucified, or to follow the world!
The world can only give us a vain and passing satisfaction, while the Crucifix can give us the peace of a good conscience, even in the midst of sorrow and trouble and the hope of lasting happiness in the next life.”