14th Sunday Ordinary Time, Year C, 2022

The participation in the passion of Jesus Christ and the imitation of the crucified Lord as was envisioned in the theological-spiritual thought of Paul of the Cross are strongly resounded in following sentences of the second reading:
1. Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
2. Henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The glorious wounds of the suffering Christ.
3. Peace and mercy be upon those who walk by this rule…and the rule is: transforming oneself into a new creation.
The uniqueness of the Paulacrucian spirit is not rigidly tied to the mystical death at the expense of a strong hope for rebirth There are those who thought that by the very fact that Paul of the Cross wrote the book called the Mystical death, he didn’t have any spiritual input on the theology of the Resurrection or divina nativa. We know that Paul of the Cross was not the author of the ‘mystical death.’ This spiritual resource which he sent to different communities lacked in its content and authorship the polarity that was so expressive of Paul of the Cross’ literary style and indepth reflections on divine rebirth. The document on the mystical death speaks little about the divine rebirth yet Paul of the cross’ theological reflection on a new creature as the fruit of complete abandonment to the divine Will is attested to by his polarising literary style. He speaks and writes in pairs: nothingness and All, morte mistica et divina nativa, death and life, joy and sorrow, loving sorrow and sorrowful love etc.
What we are saying simply, is that today’s readings especially the second one echoes loudly the passionists’ reason to believe always in the participation in Christ’s passion. It is an assurance given us always by Paul that a complete personal union with the crucified Lord results into the birth of a new creature capable of teaching others the same experience. It is a contemplative union that leads to a death, to all that is worldly. This was to apostolically lead to the practice of virtues.
Passionists should be comforted in suckling always the breasts of the crucified one. Isaiah echoes this same sentiments and the need to constantly nourish ourselves at the foot of the crucified one, Jesus Christ when he says, rejoice with Jerusalem (….) all who mourn over her; that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory. There is an assurance that prosperity and wealth will be given to all who rejoice, love and mourn with Jesus our true object of Worship: our Jerusalem. He, in all his reality becomes an object of our true adoration and fruitfulness. And like a mother who comforts her son, the Lord says, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. With all these in place, I believe strongly that we have all the treasures that we may need from Christ in our Congregation, as is already lived and expressed in the life of Paul of the Cross.
This is the bottom line exhortation that Jesus has given us today: in spite of all your miracles in life, the surrender in obedience of all evil forces and demons, it is important that your names be written in heaven.
Luke CP