Jesus, a Man, not a Superman
The cross was the most cruel and horrible instrument of punishments. It was the capital punishment reserved for bandits, rebellious slaves, the marginalized of society, those guilty of heinous crimes. Cicero, the Roman orator and writer, who lived in the first century B.C., speaks of it as “a penalty the name of which should be removed, not only from the person of Roman citizenship, but also from their thoughts, eyes and ears.”
To profess oneself as a follower of the crucified? A madness! A shame, a choice contrary to common sense. To the Corinthians, Paul writes: “The Jews ask miracles and the Greeks for a higher knowledge, while we proclaim a crucified Messiah. For the Jews, what a great scandal! And for the Greeks, what nonsense!” (1 Cor 1:22-23).
From the beginning of their history, Christians have chosen the symbols of their faith. On the tombs we still find the fish, the fisherman, the shepherd, but not the cross. For a long time they have shown, so to say, a certain reluctance to recognize themselves in the cross. Only in the fourth century A.D., it became the symbol par excellence and production of crosses with the most precious metals and embedded with pearls began. During the Holy Week, this symbol will be offered for our contemplation.
To venerate the cross does not mean bowing down in front of a material object, not even to linger on the sorrowful aspect of the passion of Jesus. The cross indicates a choice of life, the gift of self. To contemplate it means to take it as a reference point for any decision.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“I will follow you wherever you go”—the bride tells the beloved—.