CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 December 2018

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Christ relives his passion in humanity

VATICAN (SE): The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) of Jesus Christ, like that of all humanity of our age, is a thread uniting the meditations that will accompany the 14 stations at the world famous Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome on March 25.

Vatican Radio reported that the text of the meditations for this year has been prepared by Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti, the archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy.

The cardinal said he was inspired by a painting by Perugino that he saw in Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi showing the profound union between the Passion of Jesus and the passion of humanity.

The meditations are a reflection on what is happening in the world today, especially in places suffering the scourges of war and poverty, where the dignity of the person is violated every day.

Cardinal Bassetti said, “Jesus lives his passion personally, but he also relives it in humanity. Therefore I sought to interpret pain precisely in the light of God’s great love for humanity, as otherwise it has no meaning.”

He continued, “Pain can be read only in the light of God’s love. And in the Year of Mercy it is clear that the horizon of my Via Crucis cannot be other than that of love and forgiveness.”

The archbishop of Perugia recalled the dramatic situation of many families today with many young, unemployed people, as well as the dramas great and small faced by humanity and the Church.

He said that he wants to inspire reflection by connecting the drama of the Passion of Christ with that of the passion of man and the need for forgiveness and reconciliation.

“However, we need this reconciliation personally,” he reflected, “and also humanity and the Church are in need of it. Let us think also of the dramatic situation of today’s young people who lack meaning in life, let us think about economic uncertainty, of having to leave one’s own land because of war and poverty.”

He added that the martyrs of the 21st century are undoubtedly today’s apostles and, as Pope Francis says, when they kill you out of hatred of Christ, they do not ask if you are Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox.

 

“It is hatred of the faith of which you are a witness, the faith you express,” he concluded.

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