Gazing on the Crucified One …

From Fr. Richard Rohr …

How can gazing upon the crucified God transform us?
This deep gazing upon the mystery of divine and human suffering is found in the prophet Zechariah in a very telling text that became a prophecy for the transformative power of the victims of history, and for those who identify with them.
He calls Israel to “Look upon the pierced one and to mourn over him as for an only son,” and “weep for him as for a firstborn child,” and then “from that mourning” (five times repeated) will flow “a spirit of kindness and prayer” (Zechariah 12:10) and “a fountain of water” (Zechariah 13:1; 14:8).
I believe we are invited to gaze upon the image of the crucified to soften our hearts toward God, and to know that God’s heart has always been softened toward us, even and most especially in our suffering. This softens us toward ourselves and all others who suffer.
Today we experience it in grief. Grief, like few other things, allows us to open our hearts to the pain of others, and even to our own deep pain. Almost like nothing else. Grief is often God’s medicine for people who are otherwise closed down.
Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, p. 192