Friends, our Gospel today is John’s great account of the Passion of Jesus. The ultimate good—God incarnate—appeared, and we collectively responded not with exultation but with murderous violence. On Calvary, the Author of Life was crucified and killed.
The Crucifixion is the fullest expression of the divine anger at sin. We are meant to see on that cross, not simply a violent display, but rather our own ugliness. What brought Jesus to the cross? Stupidity, anger, mistrust, institutional injustice, betrayal of friends, denial, unspeakable cruelty, scapegoating, and fear.
But in the brutality of the cross we also see the fullest expression of the divine solidarity with sinners. God himself has come to stand with us in our dysfunction and absorb into his forgiveness all of the deadly sins. Yes, we know, with disquieting certitude, that we are sinners. But with Paul, we willingly boast of our weakness, for we know with equal clarity that we are redeemed sinners.
Jesus’ Crucifixion was the opening up of the divine heart so that we could see that no sin of ours could finally separate us from the love of God.
Reflect: Why does the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross showcase the greatest love?