Posted by: Dan | August 3, 2005

Crucifixion

Finally — although this may sound exaggerated to believers, and crazy to nonbelievers — these poor may inspire us to repeat what the centurion said at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus die, bloody and asphyxiated: truly, these are the sons and daughters of God.
~ Jon Sobrino

Another youth died last week. That’s the third one since January — at least the third one that we know about. An email was sent out to all our staff so that those who wanted to could attend the funeral. It would be nice for some to go, after all, no family would be attending.

Over the last few years I have become much too acquainted with death. It is tiring watching Jesus die alongside of these little ones — Jesus a victim of drugs, of trauma, of violence and of suicide.

Yes, these are the sons and daughters of God. But, Lord, how long must we endure crucifixion, how long until we too come to know the resurrection Spirit? I am tired of only seeing Christ crucified. Where is Jesus the risen Lord?

It seems to me that as long as the mediators of God’s presence refuse to fulfill their vocation, as long as the Church, the priesthood of all believers, abandon its calling, we will be left with only a crucified Christ. When the Church returns to being the Church then I will hope to see the Spirit of the resurrection birthed in these little ones. Until then I have little hope. Until then I can only mourn the crucifixion of the children that my God holds dear to his heart.

The old spiritual says that, “I was there when the crucified my Lord,” and we all were. We all are there. It is not only that Jesus died for our sins, it is that today God and his children are being crucified because we are too apathetic, too selfish, and too distracted to do anything to prevent it.

The prophet Isaiah announces that “the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth.” Woe to those whom the Lord finds dry-eyed because they could not bring themselves to solidarity with the poor and suffering of this world! If we are to receive from God the tender consolation promised by the prophet, we must make our own the needs of the oppressed; our hearts must be moved at seeing a wounded person by the wayside, be attuned to the sufferings of others, and be more sensitive to persons in conflict and confusion than to “the order of the day.”
~ Gustavo Gutierrez

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