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Dialogue with the Crucified

Saronno - Spring 2005

Giulio: Lord, I love you.

Jesus: If you loved me, you would take me down from the cross!

Giulio: What does that mean? Should I come and take you off of all the crosses? You came back to life and you sit at the right hand of God!

Jesus: Yes, I am the glorious King and I sit at the right hand of God, but on earth I am still crucified. If you really love me, you will take me down from the cross. If you truly love me, take this crown of thorns from my head, which torments me; can’t you see that it is so tight that it torments me horribly? If you truly love me, take these rusty nails from my poor hands, which have bled the last drop of blood out of my body. If you really love me, take these nails from my feet that have punctured and dried up every trace of life from my flesh. Don’t you see that no blood and not even water comes out of my side? I have given everything, and I am as dry as the wood behind me. I have become a single tree, which you can now define as the tree of the cross. And will you keep repeating that you love me?

Giulio: Lord, I don’t understand. I know you want me to understand, but I don’t understand.

Jesus: Men have pretended not to understand for centuries! They look at me on the cross, they carry me on their chest, they honor me with plaques, and they attach me to their luxurious buildings, but I am still here on the cross. Can’t you see in what a state I am? Help me! Take this crown of thorns from my head. Free my hands and feet of these nails hammered in with rage and might. Clean my body. Can’t you smell how it reeks of blood, sweat and the contempt of the many men who have passed by through history?
Nobody has ever lifted my load of suffering.
If you really love me, rip off my chains and free me from the contempt of men. I only want one thing, and that is to be the same as you!

Giulio: Lord, but I am the one who must imitate you! Why are you making my reflection on your death so tough?

Jesus: I want to be the same as you. If you really love me, wash my body, dry it and scent it as you do with your own. Warm my hands and feet. They are cold. Life has stopped. Dress my body with clean, soft clothing. Give me a hand and show the world that you and I are similar.

Giulio: But you are my Lord! I know that you wish to teach me something, but I am a sinner. Go away from me because I am not worthy!

Jesus: I can make you worthy, if you make me similar to you.

Giulio: But how can I do it? You are in heaven, I am on earth!

Jesus: You still don’t understand. You meet me often, you see me on the cross and you just walk on by. You are ashamed of me. You do not want to dirty your hands. You don’t want to be compared to the wretched of the earth. Why are you ashamed of me? Of course, like this I am ugly, but you can make me beautiful like you.

Giulio: But when do I meet you? I don’t remember...

Gesù: You meet me every day: I am crucified in the children who die of hunger. I am slapped when the dignity of men is trampled. I am whipped every time that I am marginalized because I am filthy and naked. I am as dry as the wood of my cross every time human beings die of hunger. I die on the cross every time people kill each other, make war and oppress other peoples.
My innocence is destroyed every time a human life is killed before it is born. If you really love me, do something so that this ordeal ends, and I can finally come down from the cross and stand at the center of the world, in a great circle of men of every nation, united under one symbol – a cross that has become empty.