617 The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ’s sacrifice as ‘the source of eternal salvation’449 and teaches ‘that ‘his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited 1992 justification for us.’45° And the Church venerates his cross as she 1235 sings: ‘Hail, O Cross, our only hope.’45’

Our participation in Christ’s sacrifice

6THE cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the ‘one mediator between God and men’.452 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, ‘the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery’ is offered to all men.453 He calls his disciples to ‘take up [their] cross and follow [him]’,454 for ‘Christ also suffered 1368 for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his 1460, 307 steps.’455 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacri— 2100 flee those who were to be its first beneficiaries.~~6 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more 964 intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.457 Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.~~’


619 ‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures’ (i Cor 15:3).

620 Our salvation flows from God’s initiative of love for us, because ‘he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins’ (i Jn 4:10). ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Cor 5:19).

621 Jesus freely offered himself for our salvation. Beforehand, during the Last Supper, he both symbolized this offering and made it really present: F ‘This is my body which is given for you’ (Lk 22:19).


The redemption won by Christ consists in this, that he came ‘to give his

life as a ransom for many’ (Mt 20:28), that is, he ‘loved [his own] to the end’ Un 13:1), so that they might be ‘ransomedfrom thefutile ways inheritedfrom [their] fathers’ (i Pt 1:18).