JESUS CONTINUES TO BE NAILED TO THE CROSS
BY LEONARDO BOFF
There is a mysterious presence of God within humanity. The Incarnation means that the Son really did assume our sinful condition. Once He did that, He continues to remain in it forever. He became incarnate, no to sacralize the world and humanity, but to liberate them, to make the old world new and the sinful human being just. His struggle to achieve this liberation goes on through the centuries, confronting all the obstacles that the hardness of the human heart and the iniquity of socio-historical relationships can create.
Such conflict and confrontation is inevitable because there can be no reconciliation between God’s project of liberation and sin’s project of domination. The shift from the latter to the former takes place through conversion.
Persecution and physical elimination of the witnesses to the Kingdom will not succeed in stopping the process leading to the establishment of a new heaven and a new earth. This process is the cause of God. And if God is for us, who can be against us? Even opposition and apparent defeat nurture and accelerate the advent of God’s definitive Kingdom. Yet, despite certainty of victory, we continue to tread a universal Way of the Cross. The cost of a happy outcome is being paid from generation to generation. The passion goes on. Definitive resurrection will come only at the end of the world.
So Jesus continues to be crucified in all those who are crucified in history. He is crucified in the millions who go hungry every day and in those who are subjected to inhuman working conditions. He is crucified in all those who are mutilated in war and confined to hospital beds.
He is crucified in those who are marginalized in our cities and rural areas, and in those who suffer from discrimination because of their race, sex, or poverty. He is crucified in those who are persecuted because of their thirst for justice, and in those who are forced in their jobs to violate their conscience, to conceal the truth, and to act as agents for institutions that oppress the lowly. He is crucified in all those who fight, without immediate success, against economic and ideological systems that generate sinful structures, structures engaging in exploitation. He is crucified in all those who are forced to live within such structures against their will.
There are not enough Stations of the Cross to depict all the ways in which the Lord continues to be persecuted, imprisoned, condemned to death, and crucified today in the ongoing Passion of human life.
But Jesus does not just suffer. He continues to offer himself to God and His brothers and sisters, to pardon, and to love all human beings to the very end.
Taken by A Christian Pilgrim from Leonardo Boff, WAY OF THE CROSS = WAY OF JUSTICE, Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, ©1980 (First published as Via-sacra da justice, © 1978 Editora Vozes Ltda., Brazil), pages 91-93.