I’m not sure what they’ll do with the Cross at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street, salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade site after September 11, 2001, but it would be sad to lose the wisdom that mystery offers. We need it.
After Jesus Christ crossed over to the Garden of Gethsemane that Thursday evening centuries ago, he began his hard journey to death by praying in the garden. Jesus faced “the primordial experience of fear, quaking in the face of the power of death, in terror before the abyss of nothingness that makes him tremble to the point that, in Luke’s account, ‘his sweat falls to the ground like drops of blood.’ (Luke 22,44)”
He faced an unnatural death that caused a “ particular horror felt by him who is Life itself before the abyss of the full power of destruction, evil, and enmity with God that is now unleashed upon him, that he now takes directly upon himself, or rather into himself, to the point that he is ‘made to be sin’ ( 2 Cor 5.21)… Because he is the Son, he sees with total clarity the whole foul flood of evil, all the power of lies and pride, all the wiles and cruelty of the evil that masks itself as life yet constantly serves to destroy, debase, and crush life.” (Jesus of Nazareth, Part 2, Benedict XVI)
The World Trade Center Tragedy wasn’t caused by an earthquake, a hurricane, some natural cause. Human beings caused it, just as human beings were responsible for the passion and death of Jesus.
Jesus disciples took up their swords when his enemies came to arrest him in the garden, but he told them, “Put your sword into its place. Those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” After ten years of wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, it might be time to put up our swords too.
You can’t fight evil by violence.
We live in a time that has largely forgotten the Passion of Jesus, but it’s still the wisdom and power of God. We shouldn’t put the Cross aside.