Tuesday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent
On the Example of Christ Crucified
Christ assumed a human nature to repair the fall of man. Therefore, according to his human nature, Christ should have suffered and done whatever would serve as a remedy for sin.
The sin of man consists in cleaving to bodily things and neglecting spiritual goods. Therefore the Son of God in his human nature fittingly showed by what he did and suffered that men should consider temporal goods or evils as nothing, lest a disordered love for them impede them from being dedicated to spiritual things.
Thus Christ chose poor parents, although perfect in virtue, lest anyone glory in mere nobility of flesh and in the wealth of his parents.
He led a poor life to teach us to despise riches.
He lived without titles or office so as to withdraw men from a disordered desire for these things. He underwent labor, thirst, hunger and bodily afflictions so that men would not be fixed on pleasure and delights and be drawn away from the good of virtue because of the hardships of this life.
In the end he underwent death, so that no one would desert the truth because of fear of death. And lest anyone fear a shameful death for the sake of the truth, he chose the most horrible kind of death, that of the cross.
Thus it was fitting that the Son of God made man should suffer and by his example provoke men to virtue, so as to verify what Peter said (1 Pet 2:21): Christ suffered for you, and left an example for you to follow in his steps.
(Reasons for the Faith, 7)
But Christ suffered for us, leaving an example of tribulation, insults, scourges, the cross, and death, so that we may follow in his footsteps.
If we will endure tribulations and sufferings for Christ, and we will reign with him in eternal happiness. Bernard: Because few, O Lord, want to go after you, yet there is no one who does not want to reach you, all knowing that there are pleasures at your right hand even to the end; therefore they all want to enjoy you, but they do not want to imitate you; they desire to congregate, but not to sympathize; they do not care to seek, but whom they desire to come, desiring to attain, but not to follow.
(On the Humanity of Christ, 47)