Today we celebrate (this is a term that I am struggling with to keep in the text) the 74th anniversary of the D day or the invasion of Normandy by the Allied troops, against the Nazi Reich in the II World War.
There’s lots of films and series about this or including this subject: “Saving Private Ryan”, “Brothers in Arms” or the classic “The longest day”. They all share the same focus… the beach arrivals, the slaughter caused in the battle, the blood and the gore that we are used to watching on TV. Some are historically more accurate than others, but the facts remain. The D day was a huge leap in the fight against Nazi Germany and its massacre of those who they deemed unfit to be part of a perfect race.
Too much contempt of the truth is nowadays present. Holocaust deniers, revisionists, White Supremacy movements and extreme-right parties are flourishing due to the inability of Men, and the institutions he created, solve problems like impoverishment, crime rates, illegal immigration, globalism, etc. These movements appear as a result of something that was lost but isn’t found. They share the same common traits and pursue the goal of getting back to the old days when things were the way they were and for them they were good.
As a Christian, I must confess this appalls me. The idea of ideology mongering is alive these days, making us forget that we should learn with History what mistakes not to repeat. Unfortunately, the human being is very good with some cycles. The erase, rewind, repeat cycle is one of them. That’s why we must be vigilant about things getting out of hand, hence causing problems or situations where the lack of individual freedom or privacy violation is put to the test.
But as a Christian, I also must remember that we had a D day. What I call The Great Atonement, the King’s Murder, the Day of Penance. For Jesus Christ, himself man and God, came to die for us, laying His life in the hands of the Father to be crucified for sins committed. Not by Him, in who no mischief was found or lie was proffered, but by us who dealt in sin and still do struggle with it. Our simul justus et peccator condition (as taught by Martin Luther) still make us do band when good should be done and do no good. This is the cause of the worst bloodshed in History… not the Colosseum ones, not the ones from the various wars or not even the ones from terrorist attacks.
“Rahab, who is a type of the Church, suspended the scarlet thread from her window as a sign of salvation, to show that the nations would be saved through the Lord’s Passion. Just as the house of Rahab and all those with her were saved through the scarlet sign when Jericho was destroyed and burnt and its king, a type of the devil, slain, so when this world is destroyed by fire and the devil who now has dominion over the world is overthrown, no one will be preserved for eternal salvation if he is not found inside the house of the Church which is marked with the scarlet sign, that is, with the blood of Christ.” Gregory of Elvira, Tractatus 139.
But the one that led an innocent to the death of a guilty man. The guiltiest of all man was wrongly trialed, delivered by the regional ruler to the hands of His murderers, beaten down, scorned, spat on, hanged on the cross, mocked, pierced on His side… All to fulfill the promise of Isaiah 53. The punishment that brought us free was laid upon Him.
“We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live. We were put to death together with Him, that we might be cleansed; we rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him; we were glorified with Him, because we rose again with Him.” St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 45, 28
So, today you can approach Abba without constraints, because of our Older Brother sacrifice. A willing, self-denial, pious deliverance to the worst pressure and most horrendous case scenario.
“Today Christ’s holy passion dawns upon the world as a saving light. For He comes of His goodness to suffer. He who holds all things in His hand consents to be hung upon the wood in order to save mankind.” Kathisma Hymn (Tone 1) of Bridegroom Matins of Holy Monday
Make this your D day and twist it into J day. Let the yelling prayer of Bartimaeus come out from your heart and soul:
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:46, NIV)