Was it absolutely necessary for Jesus to be brutally crucified on a Roman cross in order to redeem humankind? Could God have chosen some other way? Perhaps. But I cannot think of a better way.
When the chief priests and officers cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him” (Jn 19:6), they called for Jesus to die the most abhorrent type of death known to the world at that time. Over the years, Romans crucified thousands of men. Each “miserable procedure,” as Josephus called it, was as terrifying and brutal as the next.
The Transfiguration of Christ offers a window into the future of the elect. By the power of the resurrected Christ, his followers are destined to become like him, glorified and transfigured in eternal life.
Fasting and Abstinence. Are they important? Are they necessary? The Church, as a caring mother, is providing us a specific means and season for completing acts of penance, such as fasting and abstinence. Her goal is to see to it that her children attain eternal life. Her precept on fasting, then, is for our spiritual benefit.
The spiritual benefits of fasting are many. Not only is it an excellent means of engaging in penance, as Christians are required to do, but it confers other benefits such as helping to build self-mastery, the control of the soul over the desires of the flesh.