Throughout Lent we shall be presenting extracts from Cardinal Basil Hume's latest book: The Mystery of the Cross, Darton Longman & Todd. This first piece is taken from the Prologue: The Liturgy of the Word, in which the Cardinal tells of the "tale to be told", the story of God's people who had been carried into slavery and to whom a Saviour came to die for them.
THE PEOPLE, now freed, must remember what God has done for them. Memories recalled and celebrated, in some manner make present now what has been done in the past for their forebears.
The story has been told by the writers.
The people now come together each week to listen to that Word of God, given by the historians of old, by the holy men they call prophets, and by their poets. They come to be instructed, to recall, to learn how the past lives on in the present. Above all they come to learn more about that Saviour, God-made-man, what he said and what he did. Every Sunday the Gospel must be proclaimed, and St Paul's understanding of it read as well.
Many questions remain unanswered. How can we understand the ways of God, or discover the reason for evil and why his Son must die to save us? To fathom this mystery we would need to be like God or indeed be God himself. It cannot be. The mystery of suffering remains, a reality upon which to reflect, not one to comprehend.