And he said to them … was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? The disciples who met Jesus on the road and heard this question did not expect the Messiah to die. Indeed, why Jesus had to die is a question that has puzzled people throughout Christian history. The traditional answer given was that He was balancing out our sins. Today we have an appreciation that becoming human, as God did in the historical person Jesus, includes dying. Jesus’ dying was inevitable, but his resurrection was not. His resurrection reveals the “glory” that is our destiny, that there will be something called “glory” after death. The way that Jesus died is another revelation. Jesus’ crucifixion teaches us what the violence in us can do, what the judgments we make about each other can do; it teaches us what happens when we desert those in trouble, what people with power can do to those without power, and so many other things. The fact that Jesus also died consoles us when we are dying because we have a Lord who experienced death and who companions us in our dying. The manner of his death, his crucifixion, is a beacon for our living. It keeps us aware of those death-dealing impulses in all of us, in our world. It awakens compassion in us for victims like Jesus. We puzzle about all this together with those disciples who met Jesus on the road in today’s Gospel.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia