ANNUAL FORTY DAY FAST
TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE
The Eucharist is the memorial, which Christ gave us on the eve of his death, when he said, “Do this in memory of me.” It is the solemn assurance of his abiding, life- giving presence—“ I shall be with you.” — bringing us into intimate contact with his saving sacrifice: “This is my body given for you, my blood shed for you.” It provides a redeeming entrance into the company of the “Lamb of God” who destroys the vicious circle of violence, enmity, and treachery.
New Testament leaves no doubt that Jesus was and understood himself explicitly to be that Servant of whom the four songs in Isaiah speak (42:1-4 ; 49:1-6 ; 50:4-9 ; and 52:13-53:12). He is the Servant who suffers like a lamb and by his gentleness breaks the deadly circle of violence. He bears the horrifying burden of the world’s transgressions, and opens the way for a saving solidarity and peace. At the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan (Mt 3:16-17), “a voice from heaven was heard saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, on whom my favor rest ” (Isaiah 42:1). And, it is John the Baptizer who points to Jesus, saying,. “Behold the Lamb of God; it is he who takes away the sin of the world.”(John 1.29).
The whole Eucharistic memorial exhorts us to “behold the Lamb of God!” It urges us to learn from him who is meek, nonviolent, humble, and thus points out the way of peace.
The Lamb of God turns our eyes and hearts to his ways of loving forgiveness. He rescued even his enemies, the sinners, by his life and death; he shows us the healing power of nonviolence as the expression of redeeming love for those who oppose him, and his disciples. He alone, in whom there is no violence, and no treachery, can deliver us from the solidarity of sin and lead us into the solidarity of salvation… It is not possible to speak of Christ’s sacrifice while ignoring the role of nonviolence. Jesus is Nonviolence Incarnate.
-Bernard Haring, C.Ss.R., the premier Catholic moral theologian of the 20th century.