Today’s video is an excellent production by CRU Global. It’s a flying 4 minutes that leads us through a series of metaphors that represent the basic stages of salvation history: creation, the fall, Christ’s coming and Resurrection, and our salvation. I find the peculiarity of the video in the clarity of its symbols and the strength of its message that speak both to the heart and to the mind, inviting us to ask ourselves the basic questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? Who is God? Why am I like this? Where am I going?
Sin Isn’t Just Any Problem
God, in creating us, bestowed upon us a precious gift: free will. Yet, many times we abuse this gift. When presented with a choice between good and bad, we willingly choose the latter. This act, what we commonly call a sin, is the core source of misery and violence in the world. It isn’t merely a disorder or some problem that can be simply fixed with psychological treatments, new laws, more security, or whatever ideas that might occur to us. We, each and every one of us, make decisions that deny God’s love, hurting others and ourselves. This is not merely a social problem; it is my problem and your problem. With this, we must also recognize that if it were only up to us, there would be nothing that we could do to prevent the natural consequences of sin: death. Sin, in all its forms and degrees, whether it be little or small, suffocates life, corrupting it by injecting it with hate and darkness.
The Salvation Offered by Christ Isn’t One that We Would Always Expect
One of the most difficult realities for many to accept in the Christian understanding of life, is the persistence of suffering and evil after the coming of Christ. If Christ has come, died, and resurrected, if He has brought us salvation, how can you justify what occurs in the world today?
In asking these questions, let’s not forget those who denied Christ because he didn’t turn out to be the Messiah they anticipated, the one that would found a new earthly kingdom, a new era of peace and prosperity. The God born in Bethlehem wasn’t the God they wanted. Sometimes we too reject Christ as our salvation because he doesn’t fix things as we would like. So we try again and again to resolve them by our own means. Still, the more and more we try, the worse things get. The desperation and anxiety that come from these continued failures reflect in many ways what we see in today’s society.
The salvation offered to us by Christ entails our cooperation. It’s not something forced on us. He enters our world as a defenseless child, needing a mother who takes him into her arms. He doesn’t simply wipe out all evil in the earth, something like a new version of the great flood; rather he takes it upon himself in the form of the cross, offering himself in our place, and invites us to do the same.
The meekness of the baby Jesus, in some ways, points towards the meekness of the bread and wine that we find upon the altar during every Mass. Christ continues to place himself in our hands, and we continue having the freedom to respond positively or negatively. In the Eucharist, we find also the model for this response. There we encounter our Crucified Lord, the ultimate display of self-giving