There is only one way to be saved….period.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
These words of Christ in John 14:6 are some of the most famous in all of Scripture.
But what most people don’t realize is that Christ declares them at the Last Supper, shortly before the start of his brutal Passion.
In fact, at the end of this chapter, he and the Disciples leave for the Garden of Gethsemane.
And understanding this context puts a little deeper spin on how we understand apply Christ’s declaration. This is no generic call to “seek Christ.”
It’s something far more intense.
He’s calling us to the tragic beauty of the Cross. He’s telling us that in order to be saved, we must be nailed to our crosses in union with His.
We must crush our self-love and mimic the humility of Christ, who
“though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Phil. 2:6-8
And realize that this union with the Cross – this dying to self – to which we’re called is not a one-time event.
It’s a daily picking up of our crosses and following Christ to Calvary.
St. John of the Cross describes our entire to journey to God as a kind of “Dark Night,” in which we are more and more conformed to the crucified Christ.
It sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it? But thank goodness, it’s not the end of the story.
The tragic beauty of the Cross lies in the fact that it’s only the first half of the story.
After the Crucifixion comes the Resurrection.
Good Friday is always followed by Easter. Salvation is at hand!
And the joy of our new life in Christ far outweighs the difficulties and crosses of this earthly life.
That’s the beauty of the Cross. It prepares us for eternal ecstasy.
As St. Paul declares in Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
So cling to the tragic beauty of the Cross of Christ! Don’t let go! The Son is on the horizon.
Have a blessed Triduum!
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“The most dynamic, clearest path to spiritual transformation you’ll find anywhere.” – Mike Aquilina, Author & EWTN Personality