Daily Meditation for March 29, 2024

By the first century, the Roman Empire had conquered most of the known world. One thing they were extremely careful about was to spot any attempt at revolution and to end it immediately. Palestine, during Jesus’ lifetime, was a hotbed of resentment of the Romans. There were always gangs of revolutionaries plotting against the government. The standard Roman punishment for rebellion in their subject countries was crucifixion. This method of execution included lengthy, cruel torture that was visible to all and was intended as a strong deterrent to insurrections. The gospel account of Jesus’ trial tells the things he said and did that were describing a new world order and were interpreted by those in power as rebellious. The terrible sight of Jesus dying on the cross, however, became transformed as Christianity developed. His followers now know the cross as a venerated religious symbol of salvation, that is recognized all over the world.

By Mary Jackle, OSB