Indian Catholic News

Cardinal Gracias asks Catholics to venerate cross with gratitude

The Cross of Christ is an invitation to us Christians, today, to take up our crosses and follow Jesus, he said

Cardinal Gracias venerating the cross on April 19, during Good Friday ceremonies at Cross Maidan, Mumbai

Cardinal Oswald Gracias led the Good Friday ceremonies at the Cross Maidan in Mumbai urging Catholics to take up their daily crosses and venerate the cross of Christ with gratitude.

The April 19 service commenced with the priests walking in silence and then prostrating themselves before the Altar. After the singing of the Passion Narrative from the Gospel of John, the Cardinal went on reflect on the meaning and the purpose of the Cross.

“The Cross is unequivocally the centre of today’s celebration; it is a celebration of the infinite love of God and reminds us that when humanity was at its worst, God was at His best,” he said.

The Cross of Christ is an invitation to us Christians, today, to take up our crosses and follow Jesus, he said.

Everyone has a cross that they carry, it may be a sickness, it may be trouble in the family, a rebellious child, an unsympathetic spouse, a quarrelsome employer, a difficult neighbour, it could be anything and it could be more than just one cross.

“It is these crosses that Jesus tells us that we must endure; but we can go beyond enduring to embracing the cross that we are called to carry, just as Jesus embraced the cross that He carried. If we embrace our crosses and unite them to the Cross of Christ, they become for us a moment of grace, they bring us freedom and salvation,” the cardinal said.

He said every Catholic who venerate Jesus hanging on the Cross, should do so with a sense of gratitude and hope, to unite the crosses, carried daily, to the Cross of Christ and to ask for the grace to be able to carry and triumph over these crosses.

The Cross which was a symbol of shame and a scandal, an instrument of execution and death gets transformed after that first Good Friday into an instrument of hope and salvation.

The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross makes it a sign and symbol of our salvation. What was once used by the Roman empire to intimidate and subjugate, to shame and ridicule, to punish and create fear is now seen and viewed by millions of Catholics all around the world, as a sign of hope and God’s incredible self-sacrificing love.

“It is now, for us, a symbol of faith, something we carry on our persons with pride. It gives us our identity and roots us in our faith,” the cardinal said.

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