The following reflection on Holy Week originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos as we journey through this sacred season together!
As we approach Holy Week, many parishes follow the ancient custom of covering all sacred images, statues and crosses in purple cloth, in part to draw our attention to the sacred time that begins in Holy Week. It also forces us to recall the image of the cross in our mind, since we cannot see it with our eyes. Such an exercise helps each of us to realize how much we take for granted the Cross of Christ, with all the suffering that it conveys.
Covering the Lord’s Cross can also invite us to rediscover the personal cross we are meant to carry in our own lives. Many times we forget what this means, desiring a life that is free from daily struggles and pain instead of one that walks in the footsteps of Christ. Father Gabriel, in Divine Intimacy (P.369), addresses this challenge: “Jesus calls our sufferings a cross because the word cross signifies instrument of salvation: and he does not want our sorrows to be sterile but to become a cross, that is, a means of elevating and sanctifying our souls. In fact, all suffering is transformed, changed into a cross as soon as we accept it from the hands of the Savior, and cling to His will which transforms it for our spiritual advantage.”
Our daily crosses remind us of the need to surrender to God’s love every day and to recognize that we are not ultimately in charge of our destiny, He is.
Looking at the mess we have created in our world following the mistaken secular belief that mankind is in charge, I will chose to carry my cross as best as I can and follow Christ.