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Last Seven Words of Christ Are Full of "Spirit and Life"
Zenit.org ^ | 11-05-04 | Gloria Crucis Chair

Posted on 11/05/2004 7:58:00 PM PST by Salvation

Code: ZE04110520

Date: 2004-11-05

Last Seven Words of Christ Are Full of "Spirit and Life"

Gloria Crucis Chair Inagurates a New Year at Lateran University

ROME, NOV. 4, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The last words of Christ, more than the rest, are full of "spirit and life because in some way they contain and express the truth of all the others" and "put a seal on them," explained Msgr. Piero Coda.

The professor of Trinitarian theology spoke at the inaugural session of the Gloria Crucis Chair at the Pontifical Lateran University on the last seven words of Christ from the cross.

Established in 2003 in collaboration with the Passionists, the chair is an inter-disciplinary operative structure of the different faculties and institutes of the university to show how Christ crucified and resurrected illuminates man's life and destiny." It organizes cycles of classes, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, symposiums and congresses in keeping with its objective.

"Glory is man's ultimate vocation, who must daily follow the way of the cross in the certainty that Christ preceded us and has overcome the world," explained the director of the Gloria Crucis Chair, Passionist Father Fernando Taccone, at the opening presentation.

"Reason cannot exhaust the mystery of love that the cross represents, while the latter can give reason the ultimate answer it seeks," he stressed quoting John Paul II's encyclical "Fides et Ratio."
Bishop Rino Fisichella, Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, introduced the opening session of the activities.

Msgr. Coda, who is also a member of the chair's scientific committee, began with the passage of the Passion taken from the Gospel of St. Luke, which begins with Jesus' prayer to the Father for his executioners: "Father, forgiven them; for they know not what they do."

It is "an invocation of forgiveness addressed to the Father" that "does not only emphasize the greatness and heroism of Jesus' forgiveness of those who crucify him, but is the word of revelation," of the "Son of the Most High who makes the rain fall and the sun shine on the just and the unjust," stressed Msgr. Coda.

While the word "'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise' is the revelation of a sure hope, open to all, in whatever condition of separation from the Father they might find themselves," it is, at the same time, the affirmation that in Jesus lies the "future of man."

Referring to the third word -- "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" Msgr. Coda said that "Jesus' life, from the beginning to the end, is but one sole act of filial obedience to the Father's plan of love extended in time."

"In Luke's Gospel the experience of dying on the cross is, for Jesus, the ultimate experience of his being Son," and "the same experience in Mark's and Matthew's accounts, is expressed, harshly, in the cry of abandonment: that reveals to us "the most profound meaning of Jesus' dying in that condition, as crucified," he stressed.

Msgr. Coda then reflected on Jesus' exclamation "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

The "cry of abandonment gives testimony [...] that Jesus died with the tragic experience of God not intervening in his favor," passing through "the atrocity of absolute, cosmic abandonment," in the "solitude in which his very own left him," in the "derision of his adversaries, in the confirmation of the most complete failure of his proclamation," he said.

However, this cry of abandonment is not a "cry of despair," but "an invocation, a prayer, the extreme testimony of fidelity and love for the Father that Jesus expresses from the depth of the abyss of trial and darkness into which he has fallen," he continued.

Msgr. Coda explains that in the word in which Christ says to his mother, "'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he says to the disciple: 'Behold your mother!'" that "Jesus separates his mother from himself; proof of the abandonment he must and wills to face in the most perfect solitude. But in the very act of separating himself from Mary, he invites her to live herself, in the first person, an act of faith as great as his own."

"Mary's yes" in this trial -- which recalls the sacrifice of the son of his old age that the Lord asks of Abraham -- is silent, "a dumb yes, with a naked soul that is a wound," "it is a greater yes -- if it were possible -- than that pronounced at the angel's annunciation," he added.

According to Msgr. Coda, in this way "Mary's plan opens up in an unexpected flowering" and "she, who was the mother of the firstborn, is given to us from the cross by Jesus as the mother of many brothers and sisters."

For the word "I thirst," Msgr. Coda says that he certainly was thirsty, "like any one condemned to the torture of the cross," "but—as is typical of John -- this physical thirst is the symbol of another thirst: Jesus is thirsty to fulfill the work for which the Father sent him, that of 'giving the Spirit,' in him, the fullness of life."

It is in this word that the "trial" endured on the cross is reflected, it is in the "desiccation, in his innermost filial being, of the source of the Spirit that comforts him, sustains him, and gives him life," that Jesus "can offer, from the Father, living water to men," said Msgr. Coda.

In the seventh word -- "It is finished" -- "the breath of life, thanks to the Son of man, the Word of God made flesh, is definitively given in pledge to man," he explained.

"One seems to intuit from John's account and the tragic urgencies of our time that the moment has arrived in which the breath of life must flow into men, dwell in the flesh, become the principle of justice and fraternity in history."

"Looking at the crucified, who in his death transmits to us the breath of life, we cannot but see Francis of Assisi," when "in La Verna -- as St. Bonaventure recounts -- he received in his flesh the wounds of the Crucified: 'The true love of Christ had transformed the lover into the very image of the beloved,'" Msgr. Coda said.

Together with the Passionists in Italy, the Gloria Crucis Chair publishes the quarterly review "La Sapientia della Croce" (The Wisdom of the Cross), launched in 1986 and dedicated to questions on the theology and spirituality of the cross, as well as the problem of human suffering.

For additional information in Italian visit the Lateran University Web site.



TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Eastern Religions; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Humor; Islam; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: abandon; christ; cross; forgive; heaven; thirst
All are invited to comment.
1 posted on 11/05/2004 7:58:01 PM PST by Salvation
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To: father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...

'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise'

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!"

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

'Woman, behold, your son!'

'Behold your mother!'

"I thirst,"

"It is finished"


2 posted on 11/05/2004 8:04:28 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
"Father, forgiven them; for they know not what they do."

You forgot the first one!

3 posted on 11/05/2004 8:13:25 PM PST by TotusTuus
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To: Salvation


'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise'

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!"

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

'Woman, behold, your son!'

'Behold your mother!'

"I thirst,"

"It is finished"
4 posted on 11/05/2004 8:15:26 PM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation

Vivat Jesus!

Vivat Christianity!


5 posted on 11/05/2004 8:31:20 PM PST by mjtobias
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To: TotusTuus

That you!


6 posted on 11/05/2004 8:35:31 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

You're Welco! ;-}


7 posted on 11/05/2004 8:54:20 PM PST by TotusTuus
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To: TotusTuus; Smartass; Salvation

"Mother,behold your son./Behold your Mother." is one word. "Father,forgive them,they know not what they do",is the first and it all flows from there. It is so perfect!!


8 posted on 11/05/2004 9:29:39 PM PST by saradippity
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To: Salvation
Hi, Salvation....ever log onto FR (or, your regular email), go to your pings (or, new email) and the very post (or, email!) you "needed" to read was there? Well, this is it...don't know why it is - yet - but thanks and BUMP!
9 posted on 11/06/2004 5:31:18 AM PST by hummingbird ("If it wasn't for the insomnia, I could have gotten some sleep!")
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To: Salvation

Thanks for the post. The Words of Jesus indeed have infinite and endless meaning gradually enfolding before the mind of man.


10 posted on 11/06/2004 7:32:33 AM PST by ex-snook (Moral values - The GOP must now walk the talk - no excuses.)
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To: saradippity

Yes, I'm sorry I goofed it up. Guess all repost them and redeem myself.


11 posted on 11/06/2004 9:25:17 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: hummingbird

God bless you! Yes, the same thing has happened to me.


12 posted on 11/06/2004 9:26:02 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ex-snook; hummingbird; TotusTuus; saradippity; Smartass; mjtobias

"Father,forgive them, they know not what they do"

'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise'

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!"

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

'Woman, behold, your son!' 'Behold your mother!'

"I thirst,"

"It is finished"


13 posted on 11/06/2004 9:29:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

You should read what Fulton Sheen wrote about these words in his book, "The Seven Capital Sins". The book is as wonderful as it is astounding!


14 posted on 11/06/2004 1:19:06 PM PST by broadsword (Weren't there a couple of giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan? What happened to them?)
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To: broadsword

That sounds wonderful!


15 posted on 11/06/2004 5:24:54 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All; Smartass

THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
Soldiers have just driven nails through his hands and feet and hoisted him up by those nails. He does not fear those who kill his body; he pities them and prays for them. If they knew how much this hurts, they could not do it to anyone. They are unwitting instruments of the higher purpose that brings him here.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
But physical torment takes its toll. He suddenly discovers that he cannot hear the still, small voice; he has lost his two-way communication with God. His lifeline is not working, so he must face the the narrow gate of death alone.

He said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" (John 19:26-27)
Not quite alone. He looks down. Which hurts worse: the pain of being crucified, or the pain of a mother watching her son be crucified, or the pain of a boy whose beloved teacher hangs bleeding before his eyes? He understands their pain in the midst of his own, and tells them to care for each other.

"I thirst!" (John 19:28)
Time passes slowly. His spring of living water runs dry. He reaches the end of his strength. This is the moment the Tempter has been waiting for: through the voices of cynical men, Satan tries again, as he did in the wilderness: "If you are the Christ, prove it! Save yourself and impress the people."

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
But a dying thief says, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." What the cynical voices suggest is not the way to prove he is the Christ. His kingdom is not of this world. He ignores them and reassures the thief.

"It is finished!" (John 19:30)
He has defeated the Tempter again. Despite the agony, he has rejected temptation and cared for those around him. His temporary duty on earth is complete. He has shown the way God wants us to live. He has demonstrated the fact that faith and hope and love cannot be destroyed by anything men can say or do.

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
Like a trusting child, he turns to the Father and takes the next step. He has bound himself by love, to both God and the human race. Soon he will begin his long-term ministry by demonstrating the fact that human beings survive physical death. Then he will continue to draw to himself, and thus to heaven, everyone he can ... for as long as it takes ... until whosoever will has come.

16 posted on 01/24/2005 11:22:06 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
There is a beautiful cantata written for orchesta and choir entitled "The Seven Last Words of Christ."

We performed it a number of years ago in our church.

Follow the links to hear a small portion of the cantata

Seven Last Words of Christ

17 posted on 01/24/2005 11:37:01 AM PST by Diver Dave (Stay Prayed Up)
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To: Diver Dave

It sounds so inspiriring!


18 posted on 01/24/2005 11:39:38 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Diver Dave

Reminds me of some of the music from "The Passion of The Christ."


19 posted on 01/24/2005 11:49:20 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Thinking about this and feel like bumping it.


20 posted on 03/17/2005 7:18:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

BTTT of Good Friday of 2005


21 posted on 03/25/2005 8:41:40 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

BTTT for Good Friday.


22 posted on 04/06/2007 11:53:24 PM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Salvation

Good Friday bump!


23 posted on 04/02/2010 4:32:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Catholic bump to the top!


24 posted on 04/02/2010 4:33:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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