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A True Priest Must Love Christ Crucified
Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
I would like to share with you the single most important lesson I have learned in my half-century in the priesthood. What is that lesson? In one sentence, I have learned with St. Paul that there is nothing in life worth living for except to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
It is Christ crucified who is at once our deepest mystery of faith, our one hope for existence, and our highest motive for love.
Jesus Christ crucified is our deepest mystery of faith. After everything else we believe in is identified, after all the truths are analyzed, what is the one unfathomable mystery on which everything else we believe finally depends? It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
We believe that the infinite God became man. Why? In order to suffer and die for us on the Cross.
We believe there must be a deep meaning to the cross. Why? Because God the Creator became one of His own creatures in order to be crucified.
Jesus Christ is our one hope for the future. By now we all know ourselves well enough to know how helpless we are of ourselves to reach our eternal destiny.
Who is our hope?
In whom can we finally trust? It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Jesus Christ crucified is our highest motive for love.
It is not, only, that Jesus Christ was scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross and died on the cross because He loved us.
Jesus Christ is the love of God who became man and died on the Cross out of love for us. That is why God puts difficult people into our lives unkind people, thoughtless people, selfish people, people who do not love us.
Why? So that by loving them, we might show our love for God. The more unlovable people are, the more we are privileged to love them out of love for God.
Lord Jesus Christ, you died on the cross out of love for us. Give me the grace to die on my cross out of love for thee. Amen.
Immaculate Heart Messenger
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