The disappearance (orchestrated by republicans) of the most basic of human values: Providing food to the hungry-poor ; disappearing Planes; Russia trying to make a country disappear: Can we truly believe in what we see in this world; and can we truly believe beyond what we see in this world?
“Come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”
We should hope for that wonderful moment when the crowd feels the greatest sense that you don’t have anything to give them; in fact when it most appears that you can’t even save yourself. Only a few true believers (those who believe in a resurrection before they see it) will gather at the foot of your Cross. And our thoughts are: How can we (propose to) save others and not be able to save ourselves? When it appears that we are defeated by the evil forces of life, how do we generate a belief in the goodness and righteousness of our work? The people (both those who profess a religiosity and those who don’t) “see” winning in the context of this world as the real power. The “true religion” is wealth, power, fame and a selfish false form of “happiness”. It is Dostoevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor” turned “Grand Bargainer”, where the goodness of the individual’s calling is exchanged for a few shiny trinkets; worthless currency beyond the moment of your lifetime. The final justification for “acting badly” is the objective power (power people can see and feel) to reign over the institutions of this world. Are not the wealthy and socially successful justified in their victory comprised of the material and not moral? The choice Augustine poses in the: City of God; assumes that the chooser is acting in a faith that is essentially, not of this world; or not by the rules of this world. But if you can’t accomplish the simple act of saving yourself, why should the people believe? If you cannot give them a job, money, access to political and social power; all of the important currency for living well in this world; then of what use are you? The necessity of the Cross (and in each of our personal Cross-bearing) is found in its ability to strip us of all salvation that could be offered by and in the “city of man”. We are literally striped of any possibility of being justified by a victory on human terms. The will look at us and understandably ask: “Where is your God, now; and if He did indeed exist, why won’t He save you now?” Parallel to the necessity of the Cross, is the power of the Cross. And that power can’t be realized if we (at least pretend) “save ourselves” without God. All of the silver, gold, palaces and power of this world are like dry empty dust not even worthy of being the ground underfoot in the great city of God. This is a victory wrapped in faith; wonderful and blessed are those who believe when the seeing is not to be seen. When it most appears that defeat is about to proclaim the victory; their belief will give them sight, to see you not as you are, but as you shall be.