• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 09:01

Feast day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Written by Fr Frank Gerry SVD

Fr Frank Gerry SVD 150

This morning’s readings are so rich, aren’t they! his morning’s readings are so rich, aren’t they! 

Where might we begin?

Paul in his words to his Christians in Colossae counsels, “Be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness, gentleness and patience, and to keep them together and complete them, put on love.”

As a way of honouring St Mary of the Cross this morning, would you mind if I respond to those words by sharing with you some reflections on the mystery of the Cross?

Mary MacKillop statue 350The name Mary chose for her religious profession indicates for us the source of her own gracious and indomitable spirit – Mary of the Cross. I wish to speak of Crucified Love, and what I share comes from Sr. Ilea Delio’s book, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being. There she writes of God and the cosmos.

In her own words, she says, “The cross is key not only to sin and human nature, but to God himself.”

“The cross reveals to us the heart of God because it reveals the vulnerability of God's love.

“The mystery of the cross is the mystery of God fully communicating the mystery of love in radical openness to and acceptance of the human person. 

Love is not what God does; 

love is what God is.

Love is the Godness of God. 

“That is why the cross is significant not only as a mystical object of devotion but as a theological centre.” 

“The cross is the most revealing statement about God.”  

We have a whole universe that reveals God, but within that immense universe (stars, planets, constellations), the cross is the most revealing statement about God.

The cross stands as the centre of theology. It is there we see who God is in the scandalous death of the innocent man Jesus: love shows itself as the power to embrace death and draw it into the wholeness of life.

In his book, The Crucified God, Jurgen Moltmann, the German reformed theologian, writes: 

“When the Crucified Jesus is called the image of the invisible God, the meaning is that this is God, and God is like this

God is not greater than God is in his humiliation.

 • God is not more glorious than he is in this self-surrender.

 • God is not more powerful than he is in this helplessness. 

God is not more divine than he is in this humanity. 

“All that can be said about God is said in the cross.”  

“With arms outstretched, Christ Crucified embraces a sinful world disrupted by human violence, disconnected, incomplete – a God who is radically in love with the world. 

“The power of Divine Love is shown in the powerlessness of the cross. 

Cardinal Walter Kasper writes:“On the cross the incarnation of God reaches its true meaning and purpose. The entire Christ-event must therefore be understood in terms of the cross. On the cross God's self-renouncing love is embodied with ultimate radicalness. The cross is the utmost that is possible to God in his self-surrendering love; it is "that than which a greater cannot be thought"; it is the unsurpassable self-definition of God. This self-renunciation or emptying is therefore not a self-abandonment and not a self de-divinization of God (as if God lost something of his divinity in this humiliation) . . but the revelation of the divine God. . . . “  

The cross signifies a God who is radically involved with the world:

The Swiss theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, writes: “Being disguised under the disfigurement of an ugly crucifixion and death, the Christ upon the cross, is paradoxically the clearest revelation of who God is.

“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his/her Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.” 

                       “The cross is paradoxically the clearest revelation of who God is.”

This is a great mystery!                                                                              

An antiphon from vespers of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross says it well: This was Love’s great deed that death should die, when Life itself was slain upon the tree.

The American psychologist, Gerald May, writes, 
“True love is like some infinite way of being that we become part of: a flowing energy of willingness, an eternal ‘yes’ resounding with every heartbeat. (Dark Night, p. 192).”

This is how Jesus loved!Such is the love we contemplate in the Mystery of the Cross.

May St Mary of the Cross be a companion as we make our own way of the Cross.How blessed we are to be called to live within this Mystery of Divine Love!

Frank Gerry SVD

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