Why the Passion?

“But why the passion? Why pain and suffering? Is God so vindictive that he must inflict pain and suffering on those who follow him?

The answer lies not in God’s will but in the world in which we live and try to follow his will. Christ’s life and suffering were redemptive; his ‘apostolate’ in the scheme of salvation was to restore the original order and harmony in all creation that had been destroyed by sin. His perfect obedience to the Father’s will redeemed man’s first and continuing disobedience to that will. ‘All creation,’ said Saint Paul, ‘groans and labors up till now,’ awaiting Christ’s redemptive efforts to restore the proper relationship between God and his creation.

But Christ’s redemptive act did not of itself restore all things; it simply made the work of redemption possible; it began our redemption. Just as all men share in the disobedience of Adam, so all men must share in the obedience of Christ to the Father’s will. Redemption will be complete only when all men share his obedience.

So the world has not been changed overnight, and it is the world in which we seek to follow Christ’s example that afflicts us as it afflicted him. It is not the Father, not God, who inflicts suffering upon us but rather the unredeemed world in which we must labor to do his will, the world in whose redemption we must share.”

He Leadeth Me by Walter Ciszek, SJ

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