Daily Thought For July 19, 2018
Suffering Illumined by the Cross
Christian love gives value and meaning to our existence even when infirmity and illness have compromised the integrity of the body. There is a life in us not conditioned by our physical state, but by the love we give. "You who are sick, you are strong like Jesus on the cross," exclaimed John Paul II one day. Yes, because our strength is in Christ, in Christ crucified and abandoned! It is when we are weak that we are strong.
I touched this reality in prison. When I lived through times of extreme physical and moral suffering, I thought of Jesus crucified. To the human eye, his life was a defeat, a disappointment, and a failure. Reduced to the most absolute immobility on the cross, he was no longer able to encounter people, to cure the sick, to teach .... However, in the eyes of God, that was the most important moment of his life, because it was then that he poured out his blood for the salvation of humanity.
"Everyone is invited to cross this threshold," John Paul II said at the Jubilee of the Sick, to cross the threshold of the Door of life, the Door of salvation that is Jesus. John Paul II recalled how pain and sickness are a part of the mystery of humanity on earth. "The 'key' to this reading [of the design of God] is found in the Cross of Christ .... One who knows how to accept it in his own life, experiences how pain, illumined by faith, becomes a source of hope and of salvation."
from Testimony of Hope by Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận pp. 205-206