Reading the Cross
by John Connelly
Imagine the Cross of Jesus before you now.
Imagine you are standing there
looking at Jesus crucified.
The Lord of heaven and earth
dieing the death of a criminal.
Bleeding. Bruised. Broken.
Suffering pain beyond our comprehension.
Now think of that same Cross as
a book.. A book that will reveal to all who
study it the greatest secrets of what it truly
means to be human. The greatest mysteries
of life and death. The depths of the Heart of God.
The Cross is the ‘Great Book‘ of
salvation. A Christian should never
forget it, ignore it, or neglect it. It should always be a part of our life and thoughts.
We should ‘read’ this ‘book’ again and again.
The scriptures point us over and over
to the Cross- because it is central to all of history.
The Cross is the Great Liberation of all humanity.
In the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus we sing….
“The Cross before me,
the world behind me,
no turning back…”
We need the Cross before us because
it reveals the purpose of our lives. It reveals…
“Love without limits.” (St Maximilian Kolbe)
The Cross teaches us that our entire life
is to be a Great Surrender to loving God
and all humanity without limits.
Christianity without the Cross is a vain,
superficial, facsimile of the real thing.
All too many of us ignore the Wisdom of the Cross.
Only by humbling ourselves can we be exalted.
Only by letting go to the selfless life of Jesus in us-
do we find our true selves..
The Cross is there to instruct us, guide us,
and give us consolation.
How do we deal with human relationships?
Look at the Cross and let Jesus teach us.
How do we deal with pain, suffering, and
all the great difficulties of life?
Look at the Cross and hear Jesus speak.
The Cross literally “crosses” every barrier
of time and space. It is always present
to us. Anywhere, anytime, a soul calls out
for the Mercy of Jesus-it is present.
Present to deliver from sin.
Present to bring healing and restoration.
Present to teach us that God loves us radically
Yes, Jesus died on the Cross over
two-thousand years ago. But the saving grace
of the Cross is near to every soul.
His Cleansing Blood flows freely from the
Cross to all who humble themselves and cry out for Mercy. Mercy is the River this world needs to enter today. Mercy is the Cross of Jesus Christ. The undeserved pardon and renewal that come to all who ask.
The more I meditate on the Cross of Jesus
the more silent and dumbfounded I become.
I literally stand in “awe “.
When the “Book of the Cross” opens before me
I see into the Living Heart of Jesus.
I see that He is Love, Compassion, and Mercy.
Then somehow I am drawn into this Infinite Heart.
The Kingdom of God opens before me vast and
wide. Then I understand.
The Cross is the the Gateway.
The Cross is the Bridge.
The Cross is the Open Door to the Kingdom of God.
The Cross leads us to the Eternal Easter.
A life of communion with the Risen Jesus
here and now.
As Jesus followed the road of the Cross
so must we. As Jesus is Risen so must
we rise to a deeper life of freedom and love.
The Cross and the the Resurrection are
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
This is the mystery of Christian life.
St Faustina wrote this in her famous diary…
“When I meditate upon the Passion of Jesus,
I get a clear understanding of many things
I could not comprehend before.”
When the “Book of the Cross” is read frequently
our understanding becomes clearer and clearer.
Perhaps this is why St Paul wrote about his call to…
” Know nothing but Jesus and him crucified.” (l Cor 2:2)
These are words that should cause us to pause and reflect.
Maybe, we the Church, need to let this sink in a little
“To know nothing but Jesus and him crucified.”
Can we ever really exhaust the meaning of those words?
Personally, I think we could all meditate and write about
the Cross for a thousand years and we would not even be
close to plumbing it’s depths.
You see all our human plans for salvation will come to
nothing. The Cross mocks the so called ‘wisdom’
of the proud. The Cross only speaks to the the humble.
It will only save those who see in it the Mercy and Love
they have always needed.
I want to cry it out from every rooftop…
“We all need the Mercy of Jesus. We all need the Cross!”
So let us contemplate the Cross.
Let Jesus and His Teachings open up this
profound reality before our eyes.
Then one day the Eternal Easter Morning will
break forth before us, and we shall fully
The Everlasting Glory of the Cross.
May you and I “ Read the Cross” Today.