For those who are still nailed by prejudice to a cross


Meditation by Luigi Santopaolo, biblical scholar, on the eleventh station of the Way of the Cross published in the pastoral-liturgical aid “Christ, my hope, is risen” for Lent * and Easter 2021 of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), p. 86.

When they reached the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left (Luke 23,33)

The nail did not stop my hand, nor could it hold my foot. How far I have come from the cross to the present day! Do not cry for me! The nails did not stop me. Weep for those who are still nailed to a cross, for those who continue to deliver prejudice and social stigma to public mockery. Weep for those who, even today, are condemned by society, for the weak and the most vulnerable, without judgment but with mercy.

Before telling the woman taken in adultery to “go and sin no more“, I made sure that no one could harm her, I took care of removing the stone from the hands of her accusers. Are you sure you are doing the same with respect to the diversity of your brothers and sisters?

May the differences in colour, culture, religion and sexual orientation not become for you a cause of hatred! Was not my cross enough? Why do you want to create new ones? Don’t you see me? And yet here I am, still crucified in unaccepted, unwanted and unloved diversity.

* From Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2021: In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). Saint Paul urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).