Jesus Forsaken: today's God
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The cross was something scandalous for the environment in which Christianity began, and rightly so: it is truly scandalous! Nowadays, we wear a golden cross around our necks, but perhaps we are not profoundly aware of its meaning and its shocking message. In those days, the cross could not be publicly represented as a symbol of faith: it was unacceptable to believe in a God whose life ended in such humiliating torture. A tactic of the first centuries, discovered in the catacombs, was to portray the cross under the form of an anchor. With this, its unique value was also expressed: a sign of hope that, in the midst of thousands of uncertainties of life and the frequently tragic changes in history, it gives security. Paradoxically, it was precisely the descent of the man-God to hell and evil – and his resurrection – that was the anchorage where everything was unstable. This instilled an invincible hope of life in the followers of Jesus.

Today, we fail on many reference points we thought we could firmly base ourselves upon. For example: a world order which, after the second world war, seemed to be increasingly under way in recognising everyone’s rights and towards peace; a welfare that within certain States promised greater justice; seriousness in public administration and organization in the labour market that seemed oriented towards the common good; a great commitment to ensure education for all which, today has been transformed into education emergency; the effort to favour the development and progress of the most disadvantaged populations, instead we see them always poorer, abandoned and exploited. And we could continue.

We live in the midst of the unknown. There are no determined answers on the horizon that could assure us. With so many complexities and challenges, it is not easy to implement a governance that would be able to take the situation in hand and direct it towards a better future. We just need to think of climate change, the financial powers who influence entire nations, the immense migration flows, fundamentalist terrorism…

In the sea of confusion of the globalised world, which does not seem to be able to head for a culture of encounter, dialogue and peace, we are searching for an anchorage that could give us hope. The Gospel message indicates this to us, today as it did 2000 years ago, in the Crucified Christ. Not as a victim of a torture that saved us by paying the ransom (Does God, and a God who is Love, need “payments”?), but rather as God who in Jesus is favourable towards us, up to experiencing all the consequences of evil, rupture and separation from the Creator and the divisions between us human beings. He assumed it, filling the depths of suffering and disunity with a love despite everything, the “super love”, as Chiara Lubich named him. Love without reservations that reaches us in the darkest and most desperate moments. This also arouses in us the capacity of a greater love that could spread throughout the world and heal wounds.

We are looking for new reference points. Perhaps the only real reference point on which to anchor our lives is precisely this love up to the abandonment. Rooted in this, we will find the light and strength to transform every loss and tragedy into a new beginning. In big and small ways, we will contribute to building a culture of sharing and a different society with all those like us who are led by the dream of brotherhood, that even though it is buried by weakness, egoistic interests and mediocrity, it dwells at the bottom of every human heart. This edition of Being One wants to explore this perspective, as spirituality, reflection, life; as a reference point for pastoral activity and for the existence of the priestly people – of priests and all Christians.