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Reliving Christ’s Passion [Awakening Faith]
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified. If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, acknowledge your God like the good thief. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself.
Choose to benefit from your shame, and purchase salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other blasphemous thief to die outside. If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered hiscrucifixion, and ask for Christ’s body. Make your own atonement for the sins of the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, the man who worshiped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys or Salome or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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