Monday 21 July 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

What is the meaning of the cross? Why do we celebrate this Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? The Cross of Jesus Christ does not promise us success, fame, health, or pleasure. The Cross only promises us that Jesus will be with us, no matter how badly we suffer, no matter how difficult the situation we may face, and no matter how horribly we feel. Jesus said, “Behold I am with you always until the end of the age.” It is through His Cross that Jesus is with us.

God enters into the depth of human experience through Jesus’ crucifixion and death. This means that we are not alone. The Holy Cross means that God chose to suffer with us and for us, and to save us from our sins. In our churches, the only image that is explicitly required is a cross, depicting Christ crucified. How often do we struggle to believe in God when things are going well? How much more do we need to remember that God is with us, even in our sufferings?

The Holy Cross becomes a sign of hope. When we gaze upon the Holy Cross, we can believe that there is hope beyond our suffering, our trials and difficulties, our failures, and our loss. We can believe that there is hope because God will not abandon us. Jesus turned the Cross, an instrument of cruelty and shame, into a symbol of God’s love and glory. As He hung on that Cross, He transformed the world and transformed history. Let us always be thankful and grateful of the power and promise of the Cross, and willingly share its sign with the world.

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