Jesus Dies on the Cross-A Meditation by Luigi Giussani
We are sinners, and Christ’s death saves us. Christ’s death turns any past of ours into good, but our past is full of darkness that is called sin. And it is Christ’s death that saves us. We cannot acknowledge Christ on the cross without immediately understanding and feeling that this cross must touch us, that we can no longer object to sacrifice; there has no longer been room for objection to sacrifice since the moment when Christ died.
Precisely through our gaze fixed on the cross–where hangs the One who looks at us with the fixed gaze of eternity, fixed with pity and the will to save us, having pity on us and our nothingness–through the gaze fixed on the cross, what would be something so foreign as to seem to us abstract, arbitrarily created, becomes the experience of redemption. It is by fixing our gaze on the cross that we learn to perceive experientially the invading Presence and the unavoidable need for grace that gives our life perfection, and gives it joy. It is in Mary that the adoration of our heart finds its example and its form. For the condition of the cross was not just for Christ; Christ’s death on the cross saves the world but not in isolation. It is not alone that Christ saves the world, but by the adherence of each and every one of us to suffering and the cross. St. Paul says it: “In my own body I make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ, in His Cross and Passion.”
With you, o Mary, we recognize that the renouncement that is asked of our life is not a punishment, but the condition for its salvation, for its exaltation, for its increase. Mary, make our offering, the offering of our lives, help the poor world, this poor world, to be enriched in the knowledge of Christ and to rejoice in Christ’s love.