The Word of the cross is a living word, crying out for reinterpretation as life takes new shape and expression. Reinterpreting the Gospel was particularly compelling for Matthew's church because his Christians lived in a time of profound transition. The Passion of Jesus, then, was not simply a story of suffering out of the past but a point of identification for the Christians of Matthew's own time.
For us twentieth-century Christians, who also know the peculiar suffering and hope of living in an age that is both dying and being born, the Passion of Jesus according to Matthew has special meaning.
Donald Senior, CP, serves as editor of The Bible Today and is president emeritus of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is also professor of New Testament studies. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Louvain in Belgium and is the author of numerous books and articles on the New Testament. IN the fall of 2001 he was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission by Pope John Paul II and reappointed in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.