In the process of theologizing, the position of the theologian is of paramount importance. This is very well discovered when we juxtapose the positions of Peter and the Centurion. Since Peter fled from the Cross of Christ, he could only testify Jesus as the Messiah (Mk. 8:29). On the other hand, it was the Centurion who stood at the foot of the Cross of Christ “facing Him” who proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God (Mk. 15:39). Therefore the Cross outweighs even the apostolic privilege. Often when God makes us uncomfortable it is to dislocate and displace us so that we see better.
Right from the murder of Abel to the murder of the Son of God, human history is a history of victimization; one in which people seek status, glory and honour by devaluing others. Christ restores harmony not by an act of retribution – how humans perceive justice and have premised the whole judicial system – but by becoming the victim Himself i.e. the Lamb slain 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8) and using the subsequent victims of history to inaugurate a new world order. By vanquishing the world and the last enemy viz. death, Christ has made the victim the victor. The victim-God and risen Lord rebuffs and topples all our socio-political configurations. Christ the slaughtered Lamb stands at the forefront of theodicy.
By dint of persecutions and other existential crises we are being relocated by God to the foot of the Cross of Christ so that we may know Him as He is. The entire cosmos is under the magnetic influence of the Cross (John 12:32). The groaning and grieving along our way to the Cross indicate the pangs of birth (Gal. 4:19) for it is at the foot of the Cross of Christ we become what we already have been 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 the ages (Eph 1:4) i.e. the Church-body of Christ; “the pre-established centre of the universe.”
The Church is the entelechy and telos of the world. Therefore she should not be the servant of the world but its critic. By virtue of being the rock, the Church should be a stumbling-block to the principalities and powers of the world. Just as through the Incarnation of Christ, eternity broke into time, so also has the Church breached history to baptise and renew it. Christ has subjected His body to time and history so that He may sanctify them. As St. John Chrysostom writes; “The Head will be complete only when the body is rendered perfect, when we are all together, co-united and knit together.”
As we observe Qudosh Idto (Consecration of the Church) and Hudosh Idto (Renewal of the Church) let us celebrate our journey from existence to essence; our tread in travail to the foot of the Cross so that we may be born from the wounded womb of Christ.
~ 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐨 𝐅𝐫. 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥
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