In these days since the great feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we have an opportunity to ponder more deeply the meaning of the Lord’s Cross in our lives. What do we think and believe about the Cross? For us personally and not abstractly, why is the Cross part of our spirituality and identity? Does the Cross have real power in our life?
“The mystery of the Cross is at the heart of our faith, inextricably linked with the resurrection. Not only do we recall it as we process to the Golgotha every Saturday evening, but we also set aside three celebrations each year to reflect more deeply on its meaning: the 3rd Sunday of Lent, Holy Friday, and … feast The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We do this not to affirm some sick atonement theory whereby the Father demands that sacrifice of Jesus to appease his sense of justice. Rather, it reminds us the extent God will go to show us his love for us. By his incarnation Jesus, whom we believe to be the Word of God, becomes one of us. He feels what we feel, ultimately experiencing human suffering – knowing it from the inside through the horror of the cross, and in the process transforms it. He transforms it both by identifying with human suffering, and by triumphing over it through his resurrection. For the resurrection cannot be understood independent of the cross. Not only is this true for Jesus, it is true for us. “Whoever would be my disciple, let them take up their cross and follow me…” (NS)