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The Burning Bush of the Cross

On the Third Sunday of Lent, March 7, 2010, Benedict XVI visited the new parish church of Saint John of the Cross in Rome. He concluded his homily with these words:

By revealing his Name, God establishes a relationship between himself and us. He enables us to invoke him, he enters into relations with us and gives us the possibility of being in a relationship with him. This means that he gives himself, in a certain way, to our human world, becoming accessible, as if he were one of us. He faces the risk of the relationship, of being with us. What began in the burning bush in the desert is accomplished in the burning bush of the Cross where God, having become accessible in his Son made man, really became one of us, is put into our hands and, in this way, realizes the liberation of humanity. On Golgotha God, who during the night of the flight from Egypt revealed himself as the One who frees us from slavery, reveals himself as the One who embraces every human being with the saving power of the Cross and the Resurrection. God liberates us from sin and death and accepts us in the embrace of his love.

Let us remain in contemplation of this mystery of God's Name, the better to understand the mystery of Lent and to live as individuals and as communities in permanent conversion, so as to be a constant epiphany in the world, a witness of the living God who sets us free us and saves us out of love. Amen.

About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.



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The February 22nd issue of "Commonweal" had an article by Maria Kaplun: "The Thorny Path." I think it could be a meditation upon "the burning bush of the cross." Here is an excerpt:"At creation the world lost its eternity in God but gained its fluidity in time, and began to change and develop, so that at the end of time it could become a thing more beautiful than we children of imperfection can imagineso that it could flow back into Gods eternal reality and enrich it with its uniqueness, its temporally experienced love.I have forgiven God for the pain of the world, and I believe that he has forgiven me for my imperfection. I have forgiven God because our pain is his pain, and he endures it for the sake of the beauty, the love, and the promise the world contains. He has forgiven me because he was just waiting to, because all things imperfect in me are temporary but my love is not."

"... --so that it could flow back into Gods eternal reality and enrich it with its uniqueness, its temporally experienced love."Sounds like New Age wishful thinking -- we're all God, who needs us for His perfection. (This after Aushcwitz????)

The Pope's comparison resembles a literary conceit, the sort of thing one either loves or hates in a poet like John Donne. Augustine is full of them.

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