Who killed Jesus? A simple question perhaps; but there are many people among us who will be quick to blame others. Some believe it was the Jews, others think it was Judas and still others will lay the final blame on a brutal Roman empire. It is a well known and documented fact that our Jewish brothers and sisters have paid the highest price in history for having been made the scapegoat and accused of killing the Christ. You do not have to go on a long and arduous journey or become a religious scholar to discover who the real culprit is. It is you and I and we're still doing it day after day!
In fact the act of killing God is repeated daily - over and over, and over. Just pick-up any newspaper, watch CNN News or witness the growing list of violent games and movies available on every street corner and home. It is found in religious circles and among the non religious. It is found in just about every form of political and cultural life. One of the more subtle forms of killing Jesus is to think of yourself as less, a failure or somehow unimportant, uninteresting, unworthy, imperfect, inferior, defective, weak, etc., etc., and finally to think of yourself as a victim to be pitied.
Whenever we recognize this great truth we will no longer need to ask 'where was God when this or that great tragedy struck?' or 'how could God allow this to happen to me or them?'
Jesus was crucified by an empire. With all due respect for Mel Gibson's drama The Passion of the Christ, he was not killed so that his suffering would expiate our sins, a very bad piece of theology that turns God into a sadistic monster who tortured his son to death in order to make up for sins of other people. No, Jesus was crucified as a rebel against empire. - Daniel C. Maguire, A Moral Creed for All Christians.
If we want God to change unhappy circumstances, be it feelings of sadness, pain or suffering we need only to search the source of that negative energy. Before Jesus began his ministry he first confronted the enemy [his ego] in the desert. Instead of letting Lent be forty days of denial perhaps it could be better spent in thirty nine days of dropping the ego and sharing the gift of God's loving presence within. Perhaps even daring to reflect on how God sees you - rather than how we often see ourselves.
Christ has no body now but yours
no hands, no feet but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world
Christ has no body now but yours
- St. Teresa of Avila
A special Lenten fast
Give up harsh words: use generous ones.
Give up unhappiness: take up gratitude.
Give up anger: take up gentleness and patience.
Give up pessimism: take up hope and optimism.
Give up worrying: take up trust in God.
Give up complaining: value what you have.
Give up stress: take up prayer.
Give up judging others: discover Jesus within them.
Give up sorrow and bitterness: fill your heart with joy/
Give up selfishness: take up compassion for others.
Give up being unforgiving: learn reconciliation.
Give up words: fill yourself with silence, and listen to others.
Anonymous - Latin America
Note: the point is not necessarily to "give up something for Lent" but to loosen your tendency to cling to things, people and circumstances.