Jesus takes up his Cross

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The cross. The instrument of a shameful death.
It was not lawful to condemn a Roman citizen to death by crucifixion: it was too humiliating. The moment that Jesus of Nazareth took up the Cross in order to carry it to Calvary marked a turning-point in the history of the cross.

The symbol of a shameful death, reserved for the lowest classes, the cross becomes a key. From now on, with the help of this key, man will open the door of the deepest mystery of God.
Through Christ’s acceptance of the Cross, the instrument of his own self-emptying, men will come to know that God is love.
Love without limits: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

This truth about God was revealed in the Cross.
Could it not have been revealed in some other way?
Perhaps. But God chose the Cross.
The Father chose the Cross for his Son, and his Son shouldered it, carried it to Mount Calvary and on it offered his life.
“In the Cross there is suffering,
in the Cross there is salvation,
in the Cross there is a lesson of love.
O God, he who once has understood you,
desires nothing else, seeks nothing else” (Polish Lenten hymn).
The Cross is the sign of a love without limits!


Lord Jesus Christ, who accept the Cross at the hands of men
to make of it the sign
of God’s saving love for humanity,
grant us and all the men and women of our time
the grace of faith in this infinite love.
By passing on to the new millennium
the sign of the Cross,
may we be authentic witnesses to the Redemption.
To you, O Jesus, Priest and Victim,
be praise and glory for ever.

R. Amen.


Our Father...

Stabat Mater:

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
all his bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword had passed.