Wednesday 21st February 2024

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

September 12, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON

Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the Cross and their significance for us in our lives.
First and foremost, we must remember that the events of Calvary are re-presented each time we participate in the celebration of Holy Mass. For us as Catholics, this is essential to who we are. In this way Jesus spoke from the Cross reminding us of the importance of what was happening.
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” These are the first words Jesus speaks from the Cross and they are recorded in Luke 23:34. In these first words we are reminded of the Father’s love for us. We experience the depth of love and mercy God has for humanity. As Jesus is hanging in agony, He thinks of us and pleads with the Heavenly Father to forgive humanity for turning their back on Him. Jesus’ unconditional love is a visible sign of God’s mercy for us. Are we examples of this loving mercy toward others? In the same way we are called to forgive those who hurt us as well.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” These words are found in Luke as well, chapter 23, verse 43. Hanging on the Cross, Jesus shows the power of that love and mercy by forgiving the repentant thief and assures him a place in Paradise. Jesus doesn’t only speak words — Jesus puts those words into action by truly forgiving the thief. In doing so, Jesus reminds humanity that there is a place in paradise for all those who believe and are faithful to Him.
Do we forgive from the heart, or do we hold grudges? Are we an example of the forgiving action of Jesus?
“Woman, behold, thy son! Behold, thy mother!” It is in St. John’s Gospel we find these words in chapter 19 verses 26-27. This is the moment Jesus entrusts humanity into the loving arms of His Blessed Mother. Again, Jesus reminds us that we are never alone on the path to paradise. It is also the moment we are reminded that we have a great intercessor in the Blessed Mother. Mary cooperated in the Lord’s plan of redemption by saying yes. Her “fiat” must be ours as well.
The question presented to us in these words of Christ is: are we cooperating in the Lord’s plan for our own lives, or are we living our own lives? Do we allow the Blessed Mother to journey with us?
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” One is struck by the anguished tone of this expression in contrast to the first three words of Jesus. He feels separated from His Father. This cry is from the painful heart of the human Jesus who feels deserted by His Father and the Holy Spirit, not to mention His earthly companions the disciples, who “all left Him and fled” (Matt. 26:56, Mark 14:50). Jesus is now all alone, and He must face death by Himself.
The fourth words spoken by Christ resonate with us all. We have all experienced moments of feeling alone or abandoned by God, family, and friends. And yet, even in these most distressing times of our lives, there is still a ray of hope. Even the words themselves denote for us that all is not lost.
Jesus is thirsty for the love of souls and so He exclaims, “I thirst” (John 19:28) His thirst is of love and compassion for us, who seek the remedy that quenches all thirst we yearn for in life. Remember when Jesus goes to the well to get a drink of water. What happens there? Jesus encounters the woman whose heart He touches by telling her that He alone can quench her thirst. She in turn pleads with Him to give her the water that will quench her thirst forever. Are we thirsty? Does our soul thirst for the Lord? Maybe now is the time to eliminate that thirst by allowing the Lord to hydrate us with the springs of living water, just as He did the woman at the well.
Knowing that the time of fulfillment was at hand, Jesus cries out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). With these three words, Jesus completes the work He was asked to do: the work that was begun when Mary said yes at the Annunciation. Jesus’ surrendering was necessary to accomplish the work of our redemption.
Today we often confuse the true meaning of surrender with a more selfish meaning. Many have forgotten that we are called to give our “entire self” to the Lord. This is what is meant by surrendering. What do I mean by this? Often, we just give up! We become weighed down by the burdens of life and don’t know what to do. Do not be afraid! There is always a way out. There is always a road to recovery. When it looks like the end is near, remember the words of Jesus, “It is finished,” lasted only for a moment and were transformed to new life.
The final words spoken by Jesus are: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). These words are the final prayer Jesus utters to the Father in Heaven. Jesus can’t do it anymore! He is exhausted, tired, and has no more strength to go on. He bows His head and offers His soul over to the Heavenly Father. Like Jesus when the pressure of life is so heavy, we need to trust enough in the Father, to commend ourselves into His loving care.
Recently, this was expressed in a very real way. There was a 15-year-old boy who was lying in bed in the final stages of a rare brain cancer. The boy, who had a great faith, wasn’t afraid to die. In fact, he was consoling his own parents and assuring them that he was ready to see God. As the boy spoke, with each words getting softer and softer, he raised his hands and arms heavenward, smiled and commended himself to the arms of his waiting heavenly Father. The boy left the arms of his “earthly parents” and was welcomed into the arms of his “heavenly Father.”
Each time we gaze upon a crucifix, we should be reminded of the dialogue Jesus spoke to the Father on our behalf. The events that occurred on Calvary are not just merely a historical event, they are the living moments of our faith. This dialogue is re-presented to us each time Mass is offered. Every time the priest ascends the steps into the sanctuary, he is climbing the hill of Calvary offering the Sacrifice of Christ.
Every time we look up at the crucifix we see the ultimate sign of God’s love for us. In the end, what was seen as a method of torture during Roman times, was transformed into the means through which we would be saved!
And so, we pray the prayer before Jesus Crucified:
“Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus while before Your face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment. While I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Your five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, and calling to mind the words which David, Your prophet, said to You, my Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones.” Amen.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Irreverent funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for trans activist sparks outcry

A raucous funeral liturgy for a high-profile trans activist and sex-worker advocate was held Thursday in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, sparking an outcry on social media that the iconic church was misused to advance an ideological agenda at odds with Catholic teaching. The Manhattan cathedral hosted the Feb. 15 funeral service for Cecilia Gentili, an activist who helped to decriminalize sex work in New York, lobbied for “gender identity” to be added as…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz demands DC preserve bodies of five late-term aborted babies for investigation

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that the remains of five late-term aborted babies in Washington, D.C., not be discarded before an autopsy is done to determine whether federal law was violated by the abortionist responsible for their deaths. “To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future,” Cruz said in his Feb. 8 letter,…Continue Reading

Vatican doctrine office releases note on discerning the validity of the sacraments

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a note on Saturday on discerning the validity of the sacraments. The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández is titled “Gestis Verbisque,” or “Deeds and Words.”  Fernández wrote in his introduction to the text that the note on the sacraments was written “to help bishops in their task as promoters and custodians of the liturgical life of the particular Churches…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland Tapped as CPAC Keynote Speaker

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former Roman Catholic bishop in Texas who was removed by Pope Francis for his traditional teachings, will be a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC gala dinner next month in Washington, D.C. Strickland, who has risen to national prominence in the wake of his firing by the pope, is set to speak at CPAC’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner on Feb. 23. CPAC host Matt Schlapp told Newsmax that the bishop has…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland champions ‘sanctity of life’ at 2024 March for Life

(LifeSiteNews) –– LifeSiteNews caught up with the beloved former bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, at the 2024 March for Life in Washington, D.C. this Friday. In an impromptu video recorded by LifeSite’s Louis Knuffke, Strickland praised the large turnout at this year’s march despite the cold and snowy weather, remarking that “the sanctity of life is in all weather and at all times.”

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)