When we take a good look at the cross with Jesus hanging on it, I think that somehow we must come to realize that our sins helped to put him there. Every time we allow sin to seduce us with its distortions and its prejudices, we nail Jesus to the cross once again.
There is an old episode of MASH, in which a rather cocky young pilot comes to the MASH unit because his plane has been shot down, but he is not seriously injured. He tells everyone in a rather boasting voice that flying really gives him a high. “If I could not fly, this war would really be a drag”, he says. The war to him was really quite a lark.
Then one day a Korean child is brought to the MASH unit and her arm has been horribly mangled in an air attack.The young pilot is shocked at the sight. Even though it was not his plane that did it, for the first time he must face his own complicity in the brutality of war. For the first time he sees things not from the perspective of 10,000 feet, but in the eyes of a hurting child who is right in front of him.
Chicago Cub fans will remember Dallas Green, the General Manager of the Cubs from 1981 to 1987. Green died in March, 2017 at the age of 82. Throughout his lifetime there wasn’t a bigger supporter of the Second Amendment than Dallas Green. “I am a hunter and have been all my life. My family hunts as well.”
Dallas Green saw things much differently after January 8, 2011, when the love of his life, his beautiful 9-year old granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green was shot and killed along with 5 others in a failed assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona.
After the funeral of his precious granddaughter at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Tucson, a heart-broken Dallas Green said, “I don’t see any reason why anybody would want to buy an AK-47 or a Glock with a magazine of 33 or 38 shots. I don’t know what you do with that except kill people. Christina did not die in vain. Her death has led some people to think more about gun control and how guns are killing the innocent like her.”
There is a danger in romanticizing the cross, whether it hangs in a church, on a wall in our homes or as jewelry around our neck. The cross is not meant to lull us. The cross is meant to jolt us — to help us realize the real harm our words, especially our prejudices, can do.
Spend some moments this Monday of Holy Week looking at Jesus hanging on the cross and how some of your attitudes and your prejudices have put him there.
WHEN JESUS WAS HANGING ON THE CROSS — YOU WERE ALWAYS ON HIS MIND!