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The Passion - Suffering (letter)
Some critics of the film The Passion of the Christ call it "anti-Semitic", saying it blames the death of Christ on the Jewish race alone.
That is wrong. The producer obviously wants us to ask ourselves: "Is the death of Christ my fault?"
You see the same message in Caravaggio's famous painting, "The Deposition". It is on the net at: www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/comm544/library/images/628.html
The man burying Jesus is not looking round at the Jews - he's a Jew himself - he's looking at you.
In God's sight, any suffering accepted for his sake has merit and deserves to be rewarded. The reward for Our Lord's infinite suffering is the hope of seeing God face to face and enjoying him forever in heaven. This hope, thanks to his Passion, is now open to every member of the human race.
Only God himself, says Saint Anselm, could merit such a grace. We cannot save ourselves. We are too full of sin and pride. Only Christ, who was himself God, can merit salvation for us.
ARNOLD JAGO (DR)
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 5 (June 2004), p. 14
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