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It is not a coincidence…
Many have wondered why Jesus died so young. The age of 33 has been the obligatory reference of his crucifixion, death and resurrection. But very few wonder what Monsignor Charles Pope asks in his article on the portal Community in Mission .
In fact, what was the reason that he died in his thirties and not older, which would have given him more time to teach and consolidate the doctrine of his Church?
Pope recalls the triple response of St. Thomas Aquinas: Jesus died at that age to show his love for us in the perfect age of life; because he was completely healthy and because when he rises so young he teaches us the future condition of those who will be resurrected on the final day.
Of course, says Pope, it is not a coincidence that Christ died, precisely at the age at which he died. “God does not do anything arbitrarily” and the details of the Gospel-for example, the hour of Jesus’ death-teach us much more than speculations.
A model to imitate
In addition, there is the theme of perfection (Christ was perfectly God and perfectly man). The perfection can be damaged by excess or defect. “Consider,” says Pope, “the case of age: a young person may lack physical or spiritual maturity, while an older person, time takes its toll and the mind becomes less clear.”
For the rest, at the time that St. Thomas Aquinas lived (in the thirteenth century AD), the thirty years were considered as the time of human perfection. “This is certainly still true, even though it seems that it takes much longer to reach intellectual and emotional maturity these days,” Pope emphasizes.
St. Thomas points out that because Jesus died while at the best time of his life, it is a sign that his sacrifice was greater . His apparent lack of any disease or physical imperfections also increased his sacrifice.
“This is a model for us,” says Pope, in his article, “because we have to give the best of what we have to God in sacrifice,” as Jesus taught in the perfection of his own life.
“And therefore what might seem to some as an uncomplicated detail (the age of Jesus), actually offers important teachings for the sensitive soul. Christ gave everything, gave his best and did it when he was in the prime of his life. We are also called to an ever greater perfection “, concludes the American priest who serves in the Archdiocese of Washington.