I fix my eyes on the Cross, the Cross of my salvation. I follow the melodies of the chant--The Old Rugged Cross, as I kiss the feet of my Savior hanging on the wood of the Cross.
The kiss comes with the freshness of a memory, Biblical memory. It is a memory handed down from the generation of the apostles to us, present-day disciples, in communion with millions of people before us, as well as numerous yet to be born.
I embrace the Cross because my Savior embraced it for me. Without the Savior, it would only mean despair and doom. With my Savior, the Cross is salvation’s route.
The Cross of my Lord stirs in my heart holy sentiments of joy. The unfortunate fall (Original Sin) did not keep me down forever, in pain and sinful misery. Instead, with the Cross of Christ and the Resurrection, the fall is overcome. We can now chant the song of a happy and hope-filled fall, grace for all and me. By Christ has the tide been turned.
The Cross of my Savior is my Cross too. In it, I find healing, and by it, my hope is restored when I'm weak; when I fall and am broken, down and dejected.
I look at the Cross to see the Holy face of my Lord. As I fix my gaze on the Cross, I see myself inside the loving eyes of my Savior, his retina reflecting purest rays of tender love and mercy.
I see that face which beheld Mary Magdalene. I behold the face which looked at a woman condemned to die for her sins with unutterable tenderness. I can hear from the groans the oracle of divine justification for me: "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. You are healed."
I gaze on the Cross. Upon it, I see the heart pierced with a lance and the blood and water gushing with the aroma of grace, mercy, and justification. I can see the purity and can perceive the fragrance. Love for love. Grace for grace. Mercy for mercy.
I gaze on the Cross, and I see myself as I'm seen and loved by God, wholly disrobed of all attachment, and surrendering to the ultimate hands of the Heavenly Father.
I embrace the Cross because, with it, I realize I am dust. With it, I know I am saved. The crown is assured.
I look upon the Crucified One and see the pains of human frailty. I observe the doubts of the world. I notice the pessimism of naysayers, the defamation of unbelief, the mockery of skeptics, and the feebleness of the lukewarm and weak. All embraced by the Savior who restores the seed of God in all who open their hearts to him. There is healing plus restoration too.
I embrace the Cross because, without it, Resurrection would have been a farce.
I gaze on the Cross since with it, I know for sure, my Savior is here, and my Redeemer is alive. The paradox of the Cross is my joy.
I embrace the Cross. I honor it. I kiss it.
I pray that the grace of the Good Friday may transform all the crosses of your life and mine, making them a source of blessing. Amen.
Jesus crucified for the love of me, give me the grace to carry the Cross for the love of thee, and the love of my neighbor. Amen
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Photo by Matías Medina, copyright Cathopic]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.