When Tom and I were in Jerusalem for the first time (we have journeyed to the Holy Land several times), we purchased a large hand-carved olive wood crucifix for our home—and two small ones with a tiny piece of calvary embedded in the bottom of the cross. These small crosses are unique; they can be only be obtained through the Franciscans in Jerusalem. Often when we pray in our Center’s chapel, “Gethsemane” holding these crucifixes in our hands as a reminder of our Lord’s love, his Passion and Death on the Cross, and ultimately his victory.
The Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar celebrates THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS on September 14th. In the Liturgy of the Hours we read,
How radiant is that precious cross
which brought us our salvation
In the cross we are victorious
Through the cross we shall reign
By the cross all evil is destroyed
Today, take time to pray before the Crucifix, whether standing or kneeling. As you look upon this glorious sign of God’s love for us, listen to the words of Saint Paul from Philippians 2:6-11:
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.