My Dear Friends,
Tomorrow, September 14th, we celebrate the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Cross is a paradox for Christians, for this instrument of capital punishment, meant for the worst of criminals, is the instrument of our salvation. It is through the Cross that we are saved, for it is the Cross that has become the Tree of Life, and our Lord, Jesus Christ is the fruit of that Tree, nourishing us with his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
His Body broken for us, and his Blood poured out for us could only happen as a result of the crucifixion. But when Satan thought he had succeeded, in destroying the Messiah, our Lord conquered Satan and evil and death once and for all. Jesus has been lifted up in glory, sitting upon his “throne” for all to see. For this reason, Catholics and Orthodox have represented our Lord on the cross in the form of a wooden or metal crucifix or an icon of the crucifixion.
The Incarnation is a real event, and our Lord truly died on the Cross, so we recognize this act of love by portraying our Lord in his physical body. Jesus is True Man and True God, for he needed a true body in order to save us. His glorified body, as Peter, James and John saw at the Transfiguration as a foreshadowing of the Resurrection, gives us hope that we also will rise body and soul into Heaven. But in order for Jesus’ glorified body to appear, he first had to suffer the indignation of the crucifixion, allowing his body to be scourged and beaten and crucified.
As we meditate on the crucified Lord by using our crucifixes, we come to a deeper love for what our Lord suffered on account of our sins. It is most exemplary for each Catholic household to have at least one crucifix hanging somewhere in their home as well as an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is even better if you have the crucifix blessed by a priest or a deacon as well as having an Enthronement of the images of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts by the priest in your home. The Crucifix is a powerful weapon against evil and it will lead us to victory in all our battles.