The Dead Man

The Dead Man

By |2018-07-04T12:30:08+00:00July 5, 2018|Cross, Death, Suffering, Theology, Virtue|

I carry a dead man around with me. Look, there he is—his body stretched out, hanging by nails, dripping blood. Who carries a dead man around? Do you see him? Look. Look at his face, at his wounds. It’s all for you. His blood washes you clean. He is the perfect sacrifice offered to God for the forgiveness of sins. Yet death has no power over him: he has defeated death and has made life with our Father possible once again. So, behold the cross! Your salvation confronts you face-to-face.

I carry a dead man around with me. He was shamed, scorned, spit on. Defeated? No! His bloody crown of thorns only graces his head on the cross. Now he reigns in heaven, king of glory, clothed in light as with a robe. His reign is one of peace and happiness; his power is love. This is no worldly power that coerces and dominates. The power of love transforms, makes new. The testament of his love remains in his glorified body: by his wounds, he intercedes on our behalf before our Father. Look on him and embrace his love.

I carry a dead man around with me. In my body, I always carry the death of Jesus. Suffering of the mind and body, humiliations, persecutions: yes, it’s death. But for us, death means life. Jesus bore unimaginable suffering. His soul was separated from his body in death. Yet all this took place so that we never have to be alone in suffering or at the moment of death. By the power of his resurrection, Jesus lives within us by grace even as we suffer, so that the darkness never defeats us. By suffering we embrace a deeper conformity with Jesus’ death, and thus with his life.

I carry a dead man around with me. But, lo, “He has risen as he said” (Mt 28:6).

Photo by Dominicana Records.

About this Brother:

Br. Luke VanBerkum, O.P.
Br. Luke VanBerkum entered the Order of Preachers in 2016. Before entering, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Notre Dame.