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A day to contemplate the brutality of Christ’s suffering

It’s Good Friday, so tonight I’ll probably be watching The Passion of the Christ and crying and losing the last 10 pounds of baby weight.

When the film was first released, critics slammed director Mel Gibson for its “excessive gore” and “sadism.” We hear similar criticisms today. It brings to mind, for example, those who favor diamond cross necklaces over crucifixes, or those who reject images that are inappropriate for a church pulpit. It’s unnecessarily cruel.

If we are unwilling to honestly consider the brutality of Christ’s sufferings, how can we expect to “take up our cross and follow Him” ​​as Christ commanded? Disgust at the brutality is understandable. However, the brutality of Christ on the cross cannot be separated from the truth of salvation.

Breaking News: Crucifixion teeth one of of The cruelest way to die.Christ was Skinned by Roman soldiers.he was Slandered by the Sanhedrin.soldier did She mockingly presses a crown of thorns on his head. His body was beaten, broken and bloody. And here’s the kicker: The Jews, the Romans, and their instruments of death were the main cause of his torture, but our sins are still the main cause of his torture.

What can we accomplish if we let our physical discomfort with blood or our spiritual discomfort with guilt distract us from the wounds inflicted on our Savior by sin? Why do we seek to downplay God’s ultimate act of self-sacrificial charity, His confrontation with the payment of our sins? on our behalf?

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Greater love has no one than this, than that a man lay down his life for his friends.” To meditate on the love of Christ teeth To meditate on God’s sacrifice.

One of Gibson’s most genius choices in this film was the intentional inclusion of scenes involving Christ’s mother. One that stands out is that when Christ first falls while carrying the cross to Golgotha, Mary sees him. We are given a flashback of him as a child stumbling down a stone path. Mary ran to him with her arms outstretched, her presence helping him. Jumping in front of her, she spreads her arms and starts running again as Christ, crushed under the weight of the cross, suffocates with her own blood. I imagine deep sadness and gratitude intertwined in their hearts just by feeling each other’s presence for just a moment.

The cross takes on new meaning from the perspective of a woman standing beneath it, looking up at him unblinkingly, soaked in his blood, hers. In many ways, his scars are also hers.

I think her humanity, her motherhood, her desire to comfort him, to take away the baby’s pain, to change places, to do something, anything, goes against the hope of a greater good to come. I imagine it’s something. The cross is the fulfillment of God’s promise and her promise. Her ultimate confidence in God’s promises is unaltered by the bitter truth of Simeon’s prophecy. She completely surrenders herself and suffers alongside her son, as only a mother can. His words in the Garden of Gethsemane and her words at the Annunciation echo each other. Your will be done.

In the Catholic tradition, we take Christ seriously by honoring those whom Christ honors. There are many reasons why I love Gibson’s “Passion,” but the number one reason is that by paying serious attention to his mother and refusing to shy away from the atrocities he endured, Because they take Christ seriously.

This honesty, the act of taking historical subjects seriously, is achieved by putting oneself in the shoes of those subjects, without pretense, judgment, or ideological imposition.Dr. Rachel Fulton Brown is my guest on this episode.Girlboss, interrupted” in her latest book.Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Virgin’s Time in Medieval Christian Life and Thought” achieved something very unique and interesting by doing exactly this. This history of Marian devotion begins with a call for readers to take their medieval Christian subjects seriously by praying the Psalms as they had done all day long.

I won’t spoil any more surprises. This episode was so much fun to record. As always, enjoy by sending him a message, leaving a comment, sharing with your friends, and giving him a 5-star review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

I hope you all have a holy holy week. Christ is coming.

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