Glorious Cross April 11
Though he was sinless, he suffered willingly for sinners. Though innocent, he accepted death to save the guilty (Preface, Palm Sunday).
Look at the gentleness of Christ: innocent, he wished to suffer for the guilty. It is not just a question of an innocent man taking on suffering for guilty people. It is rather a question of someone even making himself victim of the very people for whom he was suffering! And the guilty showed no sign of regret. The Scriptures say that while they were still in their sins (against him), Jesus died for them. He identified with them, taking their place in order to attract their love and give them the life they had been refusing up until that moment. Evidently, Jesus was led by the Spirit because his considerate behavior toward others could only be one of the fruits of that Spirit. The same gentleness characterizes his truest disciples down through the ages. Paul was among the first to give the example. He affirmed that he was not a slave, but made himself into one. He was as though without faith and law to win over the pagans. He was weak with the weak, becoming whoever he had to be for the sake of the Gospel. The understanding toward others that does not want to hurt them, that is always ready to renounce personal rights for them, that bears their burdens to the limit, that takes their place in condemnation, this understanding is the gentleness of the Spirit. It values human dignity against every reason to the contrary. It is evidence of the resurrected life.
A just man does not die of hunger and, thanks to him, his neighbors eat. (Kusu)