Even more than “suffering,” the significance of the Cross can be found in “obedience”—Christ’s willing and passionate surrender to his Father.
The Holy Cross is a sign of God’s mercy. God in his mercy allowed his son to die in order to heal the rift caused by original sin.
This is the truth we must make our own—that we live for God alone.
It sounds so simple, but sacrifice and surrender is never easy. St. Peter Damian, eleventh century hermit, bishop and doctor of the church, once preached these words: “There is no burden heavier than our ego. What tyrant is crueler, what master more pitiless for man than his own will?”
St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, described Jesus as our inspiration and model in following the will of the Father: ‘He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him.” (Ph 2:8-9)
It is through the wounds of Jesus that we can recognize and acknowledge the great mystery of his love and mercy. As St. Bernard said, “Where have your love, your mercy, your compassion shone more luminously than in your wounds, sweet, gentle Lord of mercy.”
Our prayer today: Merciful Jesus, for our sake you died in agony on the cross. Help us never forget that your mercy comes alive within us.