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Christ was Cancelled First

In the courtyard of the High Priest, on the evening of Holy Thursday, a palpable fear will grip Peter’s heart. His Master is arrested. The powers of this world are entering into their triumph, and Peter is next in their sights.

Christ Himself foresaw this moment of crushing dread which would overwhelm his friend: “Simon, Simon,” He asserts, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

In a famous exchange, Peter protests, sure that he will be able to face the mob and its fury when the moment arrives: “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death,” to which Jesus answers, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:33-34)

To deny that we even know Christ – not that we love Him, or are active doing His work, or are complicit in His mission – No! – only to own that we know Him, will be the testing ground on which we will be sifted.  All of us.

The power that the cancellation of goodness exerts – the fear it elicits in our hearts – is stunning.

But Christ was cancelled first.  He chose to be eliminated from the earth, from the powers that be, from acceptance by the very creatures He had loved and formed from dust.  Willingly.  Lovingly.  As the preferential path of true meaning and power in His Almighty plan.

And so, like Peter, we must confront Christ’s paradox.  Everything we believe is failure and loss and waste in our lives – the good deed unnoticed, the kindness rejected, the example scorned, the love denied – is precisely the point.  The point of immolation.  And there, true life begins, in Christ – in His cancelled, bloodied, broken body, in His offering of self on the Cross,  and in our hearts.

Read more at The Catholic Thing

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