Fr. Will Prospero
Assistant Seminary Spiritual Director
Behold the Wood of the Cross
on Which Hung the Salvation of the World
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” John 19: 15
In the unique liturgical moment of the Adoration of the Holy Cross, the priest and people reverence the Cross most commonly by a kiss. What’s in a kiss? Judas betrays Jesus by a kiss in the garden. St. Paul urges Christians to greet one another with a holy kiss. Family, friends, and spouses kiss each other as a sign of affection. By the symbolic gesture of dropping to our knees and kissing the Cross, we wish to say that we love the Cross of Jesus. Do we?
All liturgical actions point to deeper realities that cannot be expressed merely in words. Their purpose serves to form our minds and hearts for life outside of liturgical celebrations. We repeat them over and over again to help us keep our focus on what is most important to us. Through the Adoration of the Holy Cross Christians symbolically express a love for the instrument of our salvation: the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
How might we grow in love for the Cross of Jesus Christ?
Every day Crosses come to us. The Lord wants to help us accept each Cross and grow. In becoming aware of the Cross and finding strength in the Church to accept it, we are able to perceive the Crosses that plague others. Our hearts become more sensitive to the Cross manifested everywhere, moving us to come closer, yet never despairing of the power of God to work through human weakness.
Lord Jesus, help us to love your Holy Cross in whatever way it comes to us. Help us walk alongside others who share your Cross, that together we might praise You with all Your saints. Amen.
Is 52: 13-53: 12, Ps 31: 2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25,
Heb 4: 14-16, 5:7-9, Jn 18: 1-19:42