34th Sunday – Year C
The King of Peace, the peace for which we are in dire need!
The former Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, did not mince his words. Apparently, the grace of the Resurrected had healed him of all anti-Christian allergy, i.e. anti-icons, anti-cross (an allergy that is spreading more and more in the West!), and an allergy against the divinity of the incarnated Word.
He wrote to the Colossians that Christ is “the image (in Greek εικων eikon) of the invisible God”. Therefore, let them stop from harassing us with primeval objections, naturally inspired by the Old Testament, against our icons and statues! Christ in person is an Icon! There you are! The expression “first-born of every creature” (κτισεως) needs to be explained in that He is not at the same time and under the same trait created and Creator. He is, in his human nature, the first of the new humanity. Further in a theological sense, the Word is the Creator (“For in him was created everything”) and his human nature was created by none other than by his divine nature. This is somehow complicated but logical.
“Making peace through the blood of his cross” (v. 20)
Sure, you have read it correctly “through the blood of his cross!”! Now, the wooden cross does not have blood! Therefore, it is an identification that is almost ontological if not symbolic between the Crucified and the Cross. Such identification is not easy to render in the truthful translations. Imagine when it has to deal with untruthful translations such as those of the Jehovah Witnesses. Here, without any difficulty, one discovers in the four and a half words του αιματος του σταυρου αυτου three falsifications: “thanks to the blood (“that he shed” – adds Brooklynian!) on the pole of torture (instead of “his Cross”). The Rabbinical anti-cross allergy, that disappeared from the soul of Saul, the disciple of Gamaliel, persists with the followers of the American denominations that are spurious and anti-Christian.
Let us pray also that Christians, at least in their institutions, do not remove the Cross and the Crucifix, “by respect for others” (who for good reason do not renounce any of the religious symbols even in places where they – still – continue to be a minority).
Peace through the blood of Christ’s cross is the sublime theological reality, the mystery of Redemption and a historic-politico-social. The “civilization of love” in countries conquered by the Crucifix and the Cross has buried all wars and hostilities. The disappearance of the Cross, even at a demographic level, in some countries does not fail to demonstrate its “inevitable” fruits, in other words the inter-religious and international wars and civil wars. This is what we read every day in the news. One should be blind not to see this fact, meaning the link between de-Christianization and war. Thanks to a French genius, De Braile, those who do not see could read “the news about wars” in countries that were formerly Christian. Besides, the histories of some religions or denominations practically consist of a series of wars and invasions… until this very day.
The Cross is our salvation and our peace
During the daily procession at the Holy Sepulcher, the Franciscan Fathers and the faithful, sing “O crux ave, spes unica ! » « Salvation, Oh Cross, the only hope!” Certainly, the Cross is our salvation, the instrument of redemption and the bridge of peace between Heaven and earth, on the one hand, and the four winds, on the other. In our personal spiritual life, the cross, the borne and sublime suffering, expiate our sins and make us “complete in our flesh the things that are lacking in the Passion of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the Church.”) Col. 1:24).
Fr. P. Madros