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. 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, which became a happy and hope-filled fall, is now grace for all and for 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; 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, completely 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. I see the pains of human frailty. I see the doubts of the world—the pessimism of naysayers, the calumny of unbelief, the mockery of skeptics, and the feebleness of the tepid and weak. All embraced by the Savior so healing, wholeness, the seed of God would be restored in me.
I embrace the Cross because without it Resurrection would have been a farce.
I gaze on the Cross since with it, I know for certain, my Savior is here, and my Redeemer is alive. The paradox of the Cross is joy for me.
I embrace the Cross. I respect it. I kiss it. I ask that the grace of the Good Friday may turn to good all the crosses of my life. Yours too. Amen.
Jesus crucified for the love of me, give me grace to carry the cross for the love of thee, and for the love of my neighbor. Amen
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth and inspiration. They are designed for a general audience. They may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons.