The Tree that Bore Much Fruit
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We remember the tree that witnessed the Sacrifice of the Lamb. We remember the tree where Love himself was nailed. We remember the tree that turned the world upside down.
The cross is a symbol of torture and pain. It is a morbid symbol. People, no criminals, were hanged in it and capital punishment was delivered on the cross. Yet, we Christians venerate the cross because we believe that it is through the cross that God showed mankind his highest act of love: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) It is no longer a symbol of pain. It has become a symbol of love.
It is unthinkable then for us who call ourselves Christians, to be ashamed of the cross. Are we not proud of the cross that won for us our victory, dignity, and salvation? Or are we too concerned with our Good Fridays that we forget the Easter Sunday that follows the cross?
The world will teach us to escape pain and suffering. Dash as you may, but running away is futile. Pain and suffering is inescapable. There will come a time when you have to face it. It is there as a passage of transcendence. It is in embracing our cross that we come to see the Truth and who we are in the light of the Truth.
In the cross, one may find abandonment, fear, rejection, and pain. But also through the cross one can witness the people who will stand by you until the end: the Father who is in Heaven, the parent(s) who will never abandon their child, and the friend who truly cares.