The cross on Calvary, the cross upon which Christ conducts His final dialogue with the Father, emerges from the very heart of the love that man, created in the image and likeness of God, has been given as a gift, according to God’s eternal plan.

[…] He is also Father: He is linked to man…by a bond still more intimate than that of creation. It is love which…grants participation in the very life of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

[…] The cross of Christ on Calvary stands beside the path of that…wonderful self-communication of God to man, which also includes the call to man to share in the divine life by giving himself, and with himself the whole visible world, to God, and like an adopted son to become a sharer in the truth and love which is in God and proceeds from God.

It is precisely beside the path of man’s eternal election to the dignity of being an adopted child of God that there stands in history the cross of Christ, the only-begotten Son, who, as “light from light, true God from true God”, came to give the final witness to the wonderful covenant of God with humanity, of God with man.

This covenant, as old as man – it goes back to the very mystery of creation – and afterwards many times renewed with one single chosen people, is equally the new and definitive covenant, which was established there on Calvary, and is not limited to a single people, to Israel, but is open to each and every individual.

[…] And yet this is not yet the word of the God of the covenant: that will be pronounced at the dawn when first the women and then the Apostles come to the tomb of the crucified Christ, see the tomb empty and for the first time hear the message: “He is risen”.

[…] Yet, even in this glorification of the Son of God, the cross remains, that cross which-through all the messianic testimony of the Man the Son, who suffered death upon it – speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to His eternal love for man.

[…] Believing in the crucified Son means “seeing the Father”, means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved.

Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name.

John Paul II (1920-2005): Dives et Misericordia, 5,7.