Lamin Sanneh is a Gambian who teaches at Yale Divinty School. His grandfather and uncle are influential Muslim clerics, and Sanneh himself grew up a strict Muslim. He ultimately converted to Catholicism, however, primarily because of his fascination with the cross of Jesus. Specifically, Jesus’ crucifixion led him to conclude that suffering is not alien to God’s nature, as Islam teaches, but is at the heart of God’s compassion.
As Lamin Sanneh came to appreciate, we have a God who humbled himself on a cross, as today’s Scripture readings remind us, that we might have eternal life. This is why we need to exalt the cross. We need to lift it high and proclaim the good news it signifies for everyone to hear. It changed the life of Lamin Sanneh. It can change the world. And the world desperately needs to hear of the cross, especially during these days as we recall an anniversary of terror and violence.
Pope Benedict has said: “Precisely in this moment… we need the God who triumphs on the Cross, who wins not with violence but with his love. Precisely in this moment we need the face of Christ, to know the true face of God and thereby to carry reconciliation and light to this world.”
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/091411.cfm
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