by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Ph.D., D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.
There are certain things in life which are too beautiful to be forgotten, such as the Love of a mother. Hence we treasure her picture. The Love of soldiers who Sacrificed themselves for their country is likewise too beautiful to be forgotten, hence we revere their memory on Memorial Day. But the greatest Blessing which ever came to this Earth was the visitation of the Son of God in the Form and Habit of Man. His Life, above all lives, is too beautiful to be forgotten, hence we treasure the Divinity of His Words in Sacred Scripture, and the Charity of His Deeds in our daily actions. Unfortunately this is all some Souls remember, namely His Words and His Deeds; important as these are, they are not the greatest characteristic of the Divine Savior.
The most Sublime Act in the History of Christ was His Death. Death is always important, for it seals a Destiny. Any Dying Man is a Scene. Any dying Scene is a Sacred Place. That is why the great literature of the past which has touched on the Emotions surrounding Death has never passed out of date. But of all Deaths in the record of Man, none was more important than the Death of Christ. Everyone else who was ever born into the world, came into it to Live; Our Lord came into it to Die. Death was a Stumbling Block to the life of Socrates, but it was the Crown to the Life of Christ. He Himself told us that He came “to give His Life as a Redemption for many”; that no one could take away His Life; but He would lay It down of Himself. (He was both Priest and Victim)
If then Death was the Supreme Moment for which Christ lived, It was therefore the One Thing He wished to have remembered. He did not ask that men should write down His Words into a Scripture; He did not ask that His Kindness to the Poor should be recorded in History; but He did ask that Men remember His Death. And in order that Its Memory might not be any haphazard narrative on the part of Men, He Himself instituted the precise way It should be recalled.
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