There is a scene from the film “The Passion of the Christ” that often comes back to my memory during Holy Week: Mary, seeing Jesus crushed under the weight of the cross, hastens to comfort him, and he turns to her tenderly and says, “See, I make all things new.”
What is Christ making “new” during these sacred days of Holy Week?
Answer in the abbey
I found a fresh answer when recently visiting the historic abbey of Montecassino with my community. This is the abbey that St. Benedict of Nursia founded and where St. Thomas Aquinas was educated, a cradle and bulwark of Christian faith and civilization. What most impressed me about its history, however, was that it was almost completely demolished in a tragic bombing during World War II. After the war, monks and engineers restored the abbey according to the original plans, incorporating salvaged works of art and commissioning new, beautiful ones in place of those forever lost.
Sometimes there is destruction in our lives due to tragic events, and sometimes grace itself accomplishes this “destruction,” removing the false human securities that obstruct our path of holiness. What we can be sure of is that God has a plan, a plan to renew us in our original image, that of his Son.
During Holy week we contemplate Christ who permits his body to be destroyed for our sake, and we wait in hope with Mary for the Resurrection. The Blessed Mother teaches us to be resilient, to remain faithful at the foot of the cross and believe in the power of God. What we all lost through sin will be renewed, and the new construction even more beautiful than what was there before.