The whole action of these weeks in Lent invites us to see one moment in time as carrying meaning for all time. In a distant time and a tiny corner of the planet, a life, a trial, a mob, a cross, a death changed everything. Or so we dare to say and believe.
What difference will that death have on us this year? As Christian people we’ve been gazing at the cross for two thousand years. What should happen this year when we look at it? It’s intended to get under our skin, it has the capacity to get in our minds, it can penetrate our hearts. To see it, to internalize it, we need to hear the gospel: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” It can cause us to die a little, maybe a lot, to our set ways of thinking and doing if we’re to discover the truth — the truth that can shape our lives, build our character, inform our behavior, and finally save our souls.