“Lift High the Cross – the love of Christ proclaim”.
On September 14thwe hold the Feast of the Holy Cross. A wooden cross – under the oppressive rule of the Romans this was a symbol of a cruel and humiliating death but which in Christian times has become for us a symbol of hope and redemption.
How often do we see and use this sign? We are baptized in it, we cross ourselves when we pray, we are blessed with the sign of the cross at Mass and as the priest in the sacrament of confession makes the sign of the cross so we are forgiven for our sins.
The Roman Emperor Constantine, preparing for battle at Milvian Bridge saw a vision of a cross in the sky with the words “In this sign you will conquer”. He had a cross inscribed on the shields of his army and won a convincing victory. At his command Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire – in other words throughout the known world.
Constantine’s mother, Helena, already a devout Christian, discovered in Jerusalem the remains of the cross on which Jesus had been crucified, the True Cross. The relics were shown to be genuine as a man’s leprosy was cured when he touched the wood.
We have the cross with us constantly; I have one over my bed and also at my front door and another on a chain around my neck.
Next time that we dip our finger in the Holy Water and trace the sign of the Passion of Jesus on our forehead, chest and shoulders let us take a moment to think about just what we are doing and why we are doing it
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.