Pastor Danny Santiago Torres-
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?
Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If
one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their
physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by
action, is dead (James 2:14-17 NIV).
The death of Christ is a real fact that makes us look back at the union that we have with Him on
the cross. He came to the cross for his rejection of the idolatry of governments and the religiosity
of the Jewish systems. His attitude made him a dissident in the eyes of all institutions, religious
and secular. Jesus had a different vision than the religious people of his time. The way he looked
at and treated human beings made those who didn’t think like him consider him a dissident, to
the point of treating him as a revolutionary of his time.
Currently we see how those who proclaim themselves religious live under the sedating
conformity in an unprecedented way. There is no clear commitment to the mission of the cross.
They speak of the death of Jesus on the cross, but their commitment ends there. There isn’t a
commitment of life, a mission that reminds each brother/sister that the Son of God no longer on
the cross, rose to give us eternal life.
The religious instructions speak of Koinonia, but they do not create the conditions to establish
authentic relationships with others. The bonds between God and his church remain only in the
theory of a religion conditioned to the convenience of each one.
They speak of Diakonia, but there is no concrete commitment in favor of the weakest and most
vulnerable. They talk about Liturgy, but they have reduced the personal experience to ecclesial
rites and celebrations. They talk about Martyria, but they do not make the faith credible because
they have confined it to the temples.
The cross was an instrument of torment and death. Jesus gave a new meaning to the cross. He
revoked, through his death, the curse of seeing the processes of pain and death, as the end of
every purpose in our life. In Luke 9:23 Christ invited his disciples to take up the cross. Then he
said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross
daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV). When he asks everyone to take up their cross and follow
him, it is an invitation to face everything, because the only thing that could stop someone and
God’s purpose in their life was death, and Jesus defeated it on the cross. Christ asked his
followers that they be willing each day to die to follow him. Being a disciple of Jesus implies a
total commitment. To follow Jesus, one must be willing to pay any price and do anything even to
sacrifice. That is the end of the death of Christ, that is the power of the cross.
The power of the cross comes alive when we let each person know the value they have in the
eyes of God, tell them that we are precious and that God has our name carved upon the palm of
his hand, because he loves us. The power of the cross teaches us to model Jesus. To model with
my life, and not with my words, bearing witness to a transformation of our lives. The power of
the cross calls us to serve. That power leads us to get up from the table, take off our cloak, tie the
towel around our waist, throw water in a container and wash the feet of the needy. The power of
the cross compels us to love. It is to give to each other, to do for other people what we would like
them to do for us. This is to make the gospel credible.
Souce: AETH’s Lent Reflection Series– Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana