FRIEDRICH OVERBECK (1789-1869)
WATER-COLOUR ON BOARD - Vatican Museum
Jesus is crucified
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
From the Gospel according to Luke 23:33, 47
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull,
there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
The Centurion glorified God: "Certainly this man was innocent!"
A hill outside the city, an abyss of sorrow and humiliation.
Suspended between heaven and earth is a man:
nailed to the cross,
a torment reserved for those cursed by God and by men.
Near him other condemned men
who are no longer worthy of the name of man.
And yet Jesus,
who feels his spirit abandoning him,
does not abandon his fellow men,
he stretches out his arms to receive them,
he whom no one wishes to receive.
Disfigured by pain,
marked by abuse,
the face of this man
speaks to man of another justice.
Defeated, ridiculed, defamed
this condemned man gives back dignity to all men:
love can lead to so much,
from so much love the ransom of every pain.
"Certainly this man was innocent!" (Lk 23:47).
from among your people,
only a little flock,
to whom it was the Father's good pleasure to give his Kingdom (Lk 12:32),
recognized you as Lord and Saviour
but your Spirit will soon raise witnesses to this
"in Jerusalem and in all Judea
and Samaria and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Grant to those who proclaim your Word throughout the world
glorious boldness (Phil 1:14) and freedom (Philem 8),
through which your Spirit breaks in with the power of Easter
and the language of the cross, a scandal to the eyes of the world,
becomes divine wisdom for those who believe (1 Cor 1:17ff).
your death, a pure offering so that all might have life,
revealed your identity as Son of God and Son of man.
V/. To you be praise and glory for ever.