The Cross - Our only Hope

As we now see not only in Italy and Poland, but also in Vietnam and other countries, disputes have arisen over the Cross.  The Cross of Christ is the sign of hope, of liberation from sin and the final victory over death itself.  It is a powerful symbol and that is why it is hated so.  It is important this month, when we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross that we remember who has died for us, who has suffered the tremendous weight of our sins and who is the one who is the final judge of our eternal life.  The one who died on the Cross, Jesus the Lord, Our Redeemer, our Saviour, our only Hope and our God.  Let us never abandon Him and pray for final perseverance in this struggle with darkness in our hearts and in our world today. 

Below are excerpts from a homily of Pope John Paul II September 14, 2003
(Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

O Crux, ave spes unica! Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are invited to look upon the Cross. It is the “privileged place” where the love of God is revealed and shown to us.… On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.  

The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God. By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica! …

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15), says Jesus. What do we see then when we bring our eyes to bear on the cross where Jesus was nailed (cf. John 19:37)? We contemplate the sign of God’s infinite love for humanity.

O Crux, ave spes unica! Saint Paul speaks of the same theme in the letter to the Ephesians…. Not only did Christ Jesus become man, in everything similar to human beings, but He took on the condition of a servant and humbled Himself even more by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Philippians 2:6-8).

Yes, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). We admire — overwhelmed and gratified — the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Ephesians 3:18-19)! O Crux, ave spes unica! …

Through the mystery of your Cross and your Resurrection, save us O Lord! Amen—

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