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3.21.2008

Good Friday: Holy Week

from Richard John Neuhaus's Death on a Friday Afternoon:

This is the cross point in the Great Story, from the "In the beginning" of creation to the last words of the Bible, "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" At the cross point, everything is retrieved from the past and everything is anticipated from the future, and the cross is the point of entry to the heart of God from whom and for whom, quite simply, everything is. Here the beginning and the end come together, along with everything along the way from the beginning to the end. What is the Word of God but the love of God? In the beginning, God intended love. Why did God create? For love. Not for necessity, for, being God, he needed nothing, but that love might be, and that it might be more and more. Love is necessary, for "God is love."

He created out of nothing - ex nihilo - but his love. The Word is both his love and his beloved. "Without him was not anything made that was made." Through him God loved us into being. When he formed Adam from the primordial muck, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He breathed love. Adam inhaled love. Here at the cross point, the new Adam exhales, "It is finished." The first Adam breathes in and the second Adam breathes out, and both breathe love. What began in Genesis is now finished. What began there is that love should give birth to love. So it was that through the Word the first Adam came to be and, because he did not love, the Word became the second Adam, who bore the fault of all the Adams and all the Eves of aborted love. Here at the cross point, that great work is definitively finished. Here is the one person who did and who was what through the centuries and millennia the rest of us had failed to do and be. Quite simply and wondrously, he loved the Father as he was loved by the Father.

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