Triumph of the Cross
Today we celebrate our gratitude and love for Jesus through our respect for the cross. The cross was once the greatest symbol of shame. Criminals who died by the sword were spared the "branding" of crucifixion. Jesus chose to do the most for us to obtain our salvation. He took on the suffering of the cross. With that suffering came the shame.
The cross has become the most sacred Christian symbol. When the cross has the image of the suffering Christ on it, that cross is called a crucifix. The crucifix on our bedroom wall and the crucifix or cross around our neck are important. They remind us that Jesus paid a price for us.
For centuries relics of the true cross have been cherished by devout Christians. It is believed that Emperor Heraclius recovered pieces of wood from the cross of Jesus in 629. He and his group of pilgrims honored the relics and invited all the people in the area to join them. Even before that time, Christians honored and loved the symbol of the cross.
The word "cross" can also mean the sufferings that come our way. When we accept them lovingly and with patience as Jesus did his cross, we become "cross-bearers" like Jesus.
Reflection: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!